Sabetta Matsumoto gave the Emory University Physics colloquium on 7 February 2017.
We have drawn inspiration from nastic plant movements to design a phytomimetic ink and printing process that enables patterned dynamic shape change upon exposure to water, and possibly other external stimuli. Our novel fiber-reinforced hydrogel ink enables local control over anisotropies not only in the elastic moduli, but more importantly in the swelling. Upon hydration, the hydrogel changes shape accord- ing the arbitrarily complex microstructure imparted during the printing process.
To use this process as a design tool, we must solve the inverse problem of prescribing the pattern of anisotropies required to generate a given curved target structure. We show how to do this by constructing a theory of anisotropic plates and shells that can respond to local metric changes induced by anisotropic swelling. A series of experiments corroborate our model by producing a range of target shapes inspired by the morphological diversity of flower petals.