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Bioderived and Bioinspired Materials

Ionic smart materials that are fabricated with biological macromolecules are referred to as ‘Biomolecular materials’ (or) ‘Bioderived materials’. Starting from Prof. Sundaresan’s doctoral thesis on ‘Biological Ion Transporters as Gating Devices for Chemomechanical and Chemoelectrical Energy Conversion‘, research on bimolecular materials has been one of our major thrusts and we continue to make significant contributions in this area. This research group’s work in this area has led to Dr. Hao Zhang’s doctoral thesis and Robert Northcutt’s master’s thesis at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Bioinspiration has ‘seeded’ innovative and simple solutions to complex engineering problems. Our group looks to biology at the nanoscale towards the development of engineering solutions and this page presents a glimpse of some of our projects that have this flavor.

Biotemplated Polypyrrole Membranes

Sundaresan and Salinas discovered the formation of nanostructured polypyrrole membranes during the electropolymerization of pyrrole with phospholipid vesicles. This novel, biologically inspired one-step electropolymerization process (or, biotemplating) produces a nanostructured polypyrrole (PPy) membrane using unilamellar phospholipid vesicles.  Biotemplated electropolymerization of PPy doped with dodecylbenzenesulfonate (DBS) (above critical micellar concentration (cmc)) consists of 100mM pyrrole and 2.5 mg.ml-1 1,2-diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPhPC) vesicles over gold-evaporated silicon-silicon nitride wafers.  From SEM imaging, columnar structures measuring 4-5µm due to DBS- micelles along with ϕ1-1.5 µm sponge-like nodules due to DPhPC templating span the thickness of the biotemplated PPy(DBS) and increase the interfacial surface area between the PPy(DBS) membrane and electrolytic solution.  Charge capacity of the PPy(DBS) membranes are quantified by cyclic voltammetry at various concentrations of NaCl and LiCl and normalized to the mass of the membrane.  From cyclic voltammetry, biotemplated membranes have a 45% increased anodic current vs planar and the capacitance for a monovalent cation is 666.7 F.g-1 for a 2.5 mm2 projected area.  Biotemplated membranes are more robust than the planar counterparts (100s of cycles vs 10s in high salt concentrations) and can be used for fabricating flexible electrodes and packed into tight geometries for designing novel power sources. Ongong research addresses the following research questions: role of the phospholipids in the final structure of the PPy(DBS) membranes, charge storage in PPy(DBS)-DPhPC matrix using scanning electrochemical microscopy, structure-function (charge storage) relation and design rules for battery and supercapacitor electrodes. Visit Journal Gallery for more images from this paper.

biotemplated

References

R. Northcutt and V.B. Sundaresan, Phospholipid Vesicles as Soft Templates for Electropolymerization of Nanostructured Polypyrrole Membranes with Long Range Order. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2014 (DOI: 10.1039/C4TA02352H)

R. Northcutt* and V.B. Sundaresan, “Characterization of Electrochemical Capacity of Biotemplated Conducting Polymer Membrane”, Proceedings of 2013 ASME Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, Bioinspired Smart Materials and Structures Symposium, Sep 16-18, 2013, Snowbird, UT.

S. Salinas* and V.B. Sundaresan, “Integrated Bioderived-Conducting Polymer Membrane Nanostructures for Energy Conversion and Storage”,  Proceedings of 2012 ASME Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, Bioinspired Smart Materials and Structures Symposium, Sep 19-21, 2012, Stone Mountain, GA.

* – Presentation author

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Bioderived Ionic Transistors

A novel active material system is formed from integrating the ionic properties of a bio-derived membrane and a conjugated polymer into a thin-film hybrid membrane. This hybrid membrane is a laminate arrangement of bioderived membrane and a conjugated polymer and referred to as a Bioderived Ionic Transistor (BIT). We are investigating changes to the physical properties of a conjugated polymer membrane using proteins (channels, ions and pumps) in bio-derived membranes and developing techniques to fabricate this assembly into a thin-film device for sensing, controlled actuation and energy storage. The research objective of this program is the development of a hybrid membrane that can respond to low power electrical signal (nanowatt) or low concentration chemical trigger and perform electrochemical work using ambient chemical gradients.

bioderived_ionic_transistors

References

R. Northcutt, and V.B. Sundaresan, Fabrication and characterization of an integrated ionic device from suspended polypyrrole and alamethicin-reconstituted lipid bilayer membranes. Smart Materials and Structures, 2012. 21(9): p. 094022.

H. Zhang, S. Salinas, and V.B. Sundaresan, Conducting polymer supported bilayer lipid membrane reconstituted with alamethicin. Smart Materials and Structures, 2011. 20(9): p. 094020.

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Active Nanoporous Membranes for Desalination

Current water desalination technologies such as reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) use tortuous structures and cylindrical nanopores in membranes to reject salts by size exclusion. The nanopores in NF membranes are approximated to a cylindrical channel and hence require large pressure gradients to achieve ion rejection and reasonable flow rates. In this context, the PI hypothesizes that reversible deformation of a surface-functionalized nanoporous membrane with tailored nanopore geometry couples electrostatic, elastic and hydrodynamic interactions in the nanopore. It is proposed that coupled interactions in the nanopore provide necessary conditions for ion rejection and water transport through the nanopore and forms the focus of this research. This novel approach takes advantage of the hyperboloidal shape of the pore to create pumping action and to selectively transport water molecules.  A membrane with a hyperboloidal pore geometry that demonstrates ion rejection and water transport through coupled elastic, electrostatic and hydrodynamic interactions in the nanopore is referred to as an active nanoporous membrane and the pore is referred to as the active nanopore.  This research will develop fabrication processes for the active nanoporous membrane from ion-tracking and potentiodynamic etching to produce an array of pores with the desired hyperboloidal shape. The relation between process and structure of the nanofabrication technique will be developed towards the ultimate goal of developing a novel desalination system.

activenanoporousmembrane

References

Vishnu Baba Sundaresan, “Frequency Dependent Ion Rejection Properties of Active Nanoporous Membranes”,  Proceedings of 2013 ASME Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, Bioinspired Smart Materials and Structures Symposium, Sep 16-18, 2013, Snowbird, UT.

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Thermoplastic Ionomers as Self-healing Composites

Sundaresan’s group has developed the framework for a composite inflatable membrane that contains a self-healing layer. This self-healing layer called “Self-Healing Inflatable Extraterrestrial ShieLD” (SHIELD) membrane has autonomic self-healing properties. The multi-layer composite architecture is conceived to have three layers, with the outer layer fabricated from polyimide and an innermost layer made from a viscoelastic polymer. The middle layer is a self-healing layer fabricated from ionomeric polymers or PDMS-based ionenes and will be the focus of research activities in this program. It was demonstrated through this research that a projectile traveling at speeds of 750 ft/s (medium velocity range) can penetrate the ionomer containing particulate piezoelectric particles and provide sufficient energy to raise the temperature of the polymer above its melt temperature to initiate self-healing.

selfhealing

In an earlier, NASA-sponsored Phase-I and Phase-II effort, Sundaresan, Castellucci and Duenas developed concepts for a self-healing wire insulation using Surlyn as the self-healing layer in a TKT wire insulation. The self-healing layer was fabricated with carbon fibers embedded in the matrix for resistive heating and subsequent healing.

selfhealing2

References

Vishnu Baba Sundaresan, Andrew Morgan, and Matt Castellucci, “Self-Healing of Ionomeric Polymers with Carbon Fibers from Medium-Velocity Impact and Resistive Heating,” Smart Materials Research, vol. 2013, Article ID 271546, 12 pages, 2013

Terrisa Duenas, Andrew Enke, Karen Chai, Matt Castellucci, Vishnu Baba Sundaresan, Fred Wudl, Erin B. Murphy, Ajit Mal, James R. Alexandar, Aaron Corder, and Teng K. Ooi, Smart Self-Healing Material Systems Using Inductive and Resistive HeatingSmart Coatings III. 2010, 45-60

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Other papers published by Sundaresan and colleagues on Bioderived Materials

V. B. Sundaresan, S. Sarles, and D. Leo, “Bioderived Smart Materials,” in Encyclopedia of Nanotechnology, B. Bhushan, Ed., ed: Springer Netherlands, 2012, pp. 201-213.

V. B. Sundaresan and D. J. Leo, “Chemoelectrical Energy Conversion of Adenosine Triphosphate Using ATPases,” Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, vol. 21, pp. 201-212, 2010.

V.B. Sundaresan, S. Sarles, D. Leo, Characterization of porous substrates for biochemical energy conversion devices, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 6928, 69280K (2008).

V. B. Sundaresan and D. J. Leo, “Modeling and Characterization of a Chemomechanical Actuator Using Protein Transporters,” Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, vol. 131, pp. 384-393, 2008.

V. B. Sundaresan and D. J. Leo, “Controlled Fluid Transport Using ATP-Powered Protein Pumps,” Smart Mater. Struct., vol. 16, pp. S207-S213, 2007.

V. B. Sundaresan and D. J. Leo, “Chemomechanical Model for Actuation Based on Biological Membranes,” Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, vol. 17, pp. 863-870, 2006.

V. B. Sundaresan, C. Homison, L. M. Weiland, and D. J. Leo, “Biological Transport Processes for Microhydraulic Actuation,” Sensors and Actuators B:Chemical, vol. 123, pp. 685-695, 2007.

Surface Synthetic Jet Actuators

Synthetic Jet Actuators (SJA) generates the jet of air via momentum transfer from high frequency oscillation in the piezoelectric diaphragm10. Acoustic waves generated in the chamber excite air entrained in the orifice and forces the formation of an oscillatory outflow near the orifice. This outflow is observed to be associated with the formation of a vortex ring that weakens with the oscillations of the air in the orifice and switches to inflow. This inflow brings air from around the shed vortex ring and is subsequently ejected outwards in successive cycles. The velocity of synthetic jet produced in a SJA is dependent on the geometry of the chamber, material properties of the oscillating diaphragm and shape of the chamber. Sundaresan and Gilmore have shown that a conical chamber for a SJA generates a higher jet velocity than SJA with cylindrical chambers and presents interesting applications in vector delivery, flow control, etc., Recent conference publications have demonstrated the results presented in the figure.

SJA-sundaresan

Self-sensing Magnetoelectric Surgical Tools

Magnetoelectric materials are self-sensing materials and are highly suitable for designing actuators that can be used in closed-loop. The research work focuses on developing magnetoelectric cantilever that can be used as an ablation tool in minimally invasive surgery (shown in figure below), as a damper in vibration isolation and as an adaptive mirror in optics. The magnetoelectric material is fabricated from combining a magnetostrictive material such as Galfenol and a piezoelectric material such as lead zirconate titanate (PZT). Current work is targeted towards developing the magnetoelectric cantilever into a smart ablation tool. It is common knowledge that a cantilever can be used as cutting tool in minimally surgery. But a cantilever-cutting tool riding on a catheter will have the tendency to drift due to force generated in the cutting action and hence pose danger to the patient. The novelty in this research is the addition of a second segment to the cantilevered end of the tool that will dynamically stabilize the cutting end of the tool. In order to realize the technical objective, a dynamic model for the magnetoelectric material is developed using variational principles and the principle of virtual work. A control algorithm such as linear-quadratic-regulator will be applied to the dynamic model for precise operation.

magnetoelectricReferences

V.B. Sundaresan, J. Atulasimha, J. Clarke, 2010, US 8,602,034 B2; Awarded Date: Dec 10, 2013, Magnetoelectric Surgical Tools for Minimally Invasive Surgery.

DASH Ecosystem for Electric Vehicles

Mobile devices offer a unique opportunity for integration with daily life functions on a unified platform. In spite of market penetration, mobile devices have not made any impact on interfacing with the driving functions of an automobile. The primary challenge for this deficiency is the lack of unifying hardware/software platforms and barriers that exists between popular ecosystems. In order to address these issues, this work proposes a unifying platform that has the potential to combine internet connectivity, reconfigurable and personalized user interface and interaction with the automobile. This futuristic paradigm for automobiles is demonstrated using an Android tablet and interface hardware, where the tablet serves as the input device for primary or secondary vehicle functions and the interface hardware could be added on to existing dashboard controller. The interface hardware is based on a real-time board with multicore architecture and can serve as the bridge between the connected world and local ecosystem in an automobile. This research presents novel open source, open architecture for commanding vehicle functions from a mobile device over wired and wireless local area network (WLAN, also called as WiFi). We anticipate incorporating  system level security functions, software integrity functions, various V2V, V2I, V2X constructs through a mobile device and our current implementations are centered around Google’s Android platform. Our seminal work in this field was presented in the International Conference on Connected Vehicles (Electric Vehicle symposium, session P06-4) at Las Vegas on 5th December, 2013 by Pedro Daniel Urbina Coronado (http://edas.info/p15085). Our continuing work in this area places an upgradeable software running in a mobile device as a hub for regulating various driving and miscellaneous functions in a car.

dowi

‘DASH’ Ecosystem stands for Driving Assistance Software Hardware Ecosystem and is a collection of software and hardware that will allow mobile devices to control driving and miscellaneous functions in an electric vehicle.

The first implementation of this ecosystem is based on a Parallax Propeller-based board for connecting Android devices to the in-car network and was designed by Prof. Sundaresan and Pedro Urbina Coronado (visiting scholar in Sundaresan Research Group) between Jan-2013 and Dec-2013. This work was presented as a technical presentation at the IEEE International Conference on Interconnected  Vehicles & Expo (ICCVE-2013) on 5th December 2013.

This project has been discontinued since the announcement of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in early 2014.

DASH Ecosystem for Electric Vehicles

Mobile devices offer a unique opportunity for integration with daily life functions on a unified platform. In spite of market penetration, mobile devices have not made any impact on interfacing with the driving functions of an automobile. The primary challenge for this deficiency is the lack of unifying hardware/software platforms and barriers that exists between popular ecosystems. In order to address these issues, this work proposes a unifying platform that has the potential to combine internet connectivity, reconfigurable and personalized user interface and interaction with the automobile. This futuristic paradigm for automobiles is demonstrated using an Android tablet and interface hardware, where the tablet serves as the input device for primary or secondary vehicle functions and the interface hardware could be added on to existing dashboard controller. The interface hardware is based on a real-time board with multicore architecture and can serve as the bridge between the connected world and local ecosystem in an automobile. This research presents novel open source, open architecture for commanding vehicle functions from a mobile device over wired and wireless local area network (WLAN, also called as WiFi). We anticipate incorporating  system level security functions, software integrity functions, various V2V, V2I, V2X constructs through a mobile device and our current implementations are centered around Google’s Android platform. Our seminal work in this field was presented in the International Conference on Connected Vehicles (Electric Vehicle symposium, session P06-4) at Las Vegas on 5th December, 2013 by Pedro Daniel Urbina Coronado (http://edas.info/p15085). Our continuing work in this area places an upgradeable software running in a mobile device as a hub for regulating various driving and miscellaneous functions in a car.

dowi

‘DASH’ Ecosystem stands for Driving Assistance Software Hardware Ecosystem and is a collection of software and hardware that will allow mobile devices to control driving and miscellaneous functions in an electric vehicle.

The first implementation of this ecosystem is based on a Parallax Propeller-based board for connecting Android devices to the in-car network and was designed by Prof. Sundaresan and Pedro Urbina Coronado (visiting scholar in Sundaresan Research Group) between Jan-2013 and Dec-2013. This work was presented as a technical presentation at the IEEE International Conference on Interconnected  Vehicles & Expo (ICCVE-2013) on 5th December 2013.

This project has been discontinued since the announcement of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in early 2014.

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