Research Highlights | Published:

Materials

Self-folding mimosa mimic

Nature volume 534, page 593 (30 June 2016) | Download Citation

Image: W. S. Y. Wong et al. Sci. Adv. 2, e1600417 (2016)

A bilayered material can curl itself into a cylinder in response to a stimulus, mimicking the leaves of the plant Mimosa pudica, which quickly fold up when lightly touched (pictured).

Zuankai Wang at the City University of Hong Kong, Antonio Tricoli at Canberra's Australian National University and their team were inspired by the plant. They adhered a hydrophobic layer, polyvinyl chloride, to a hydrophilic one, polycaprolactone, then placed this bilayer on a flexible plastic substrate before cutting the resulting trilayer into a long, thin strip. When they placed a water droplet on one end of the hydrophilic side, the two sides of the strip quickly peeled away from the substrate and wrapped around the droplet. As the water spread down the strip, the bilayer's edges curled with it to form a tube.

Such a material, which can be cut into different shapes, could one day be useful in sensors and other devices that don't require power.

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/534593f

Authors

    Comments

    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing