Harvard University researchers have come closer to unleashing the potential of 4-D printing, which involves materials that transform and assemble themselves. (Imagine an implantable medical device that assembles and deploys itself inside the human body.)
Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering devised a mathematical model that determines how a 4-D object must be printed to achieve prescribed, changeable shapes. The model drew inspiration from the way that plants in nature are able to change shape over time in response to stimuli in their environment.
"We have now gone beyond integrating form and function to create transformable architectures," Jennifer Lewis, senior author on the study, said in a statement.
|See Tim Lew of AxoGen discuss, "Advances in 3-D Printing Capabilities for Medical Device Development," at BIOMEDevice San Jose, December 7-8, 2016.|
[Image courtesy of Harvard University's Wyss Institute]