Extending ideas from classical elasticity and hydrodynamics, we move towards designing materials with specific function. Here are two projects from postdoc along this direction.
Totimorphs - infinitely morphable structures Morphable structures are realized by using microscopic degrees of freedom to sculpt the free energy landscape of a material structure. The ability to design such a free energy landscape is limited by the constraints of topology and geometry of the structure. We explore a new class of pre-stressed materials which are infinitely morphable because of a flat energy landscape. Our prototypes opens up new possibilities for fabricating functional material structures.
Functional soft gel vascular networks Vascularization, the formation of a branched network of vessels, enables the transport of nutrients and removal of wastes in biological organisms. In plants and animals, vascularization is self-organized in response to biochemical and biophysical cues. We use flow induced channelization in a crosslinkable gel to enable the controlled formation of synthetic vasculature in soft frangible tissue-like materials. This allows us to control and guide the formation of both divergent and convergent channel patterns, hierarchical formation of thick and thin capillaries, all the while being space-filling.