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Issue 27, 2019
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Gel-based soft actuators driven by light

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Movement is essential for living organisms. Biological motors enable activities necessary for life by conversion of chemical energy. Controlling stimuli-induced molecular motion and mastering its amplification from the molecular to the macroscopic scale enables the preparation of synthetic materials that display motile response and life-like actions such as bending, twisting and expansion–contraction movements. Light represents a valuable stimulus that can be remotely applied with high spatiotemporal control. Herein, photoresponsive gels that perform light-driven actuation are highlighted. Although some limitations still need to be overcome, these fascinating materials may find potential applications in remotely-guided bio-medical devices, artificial muscles, smart drug delivery systems, microfluidic elements, micromanipulators and biologically-inspired soft robotics.

Graphical abstract: Gel-based soft actuators driven by light

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Jul 2018, accepted on 28 Jan 2019 and first published on 29 Jan 2019

Article type: Highlight
DOI: 10.1039/C8TB01893F
J. Mater. Chem. B, 2019,7, 4234-4242

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    Gel-based soft actuators driven by light

    M. Mauro, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2019, 7, 4234
    DOI: 10.1039/C8TB01893F

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