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Peristaltic motion of tubular gel driven by acidautocatalytic reaction
Takashi Mikanoharaa, Shingo Maedab, Yusuke Harac & Shuji Hashimotoa a Department of Applied Physics, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Waseda
University, 3-4-1 Okubo Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan b Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Shibaura Institute of Technology, 3-7-5
Toyosu Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8548, Japan c Nanosystem Research Institute, NRI, National Institute of Advanced Science and
Technology, AIST, Central 5-2, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba 305-8565, Japan
Published online: 16 Jan 2014.
To cite this article: Takashi Mikanohara, Shingo Maeda, Yusuke Hara & Shuji Hashimoto (2014) Peristaltic motion of tubular gel driven by acid-autocatalytic reaction, Advanced Robotics, 28:7, 457-465, DOI: 10.1080/01691864.2013.876934
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01691864.2013.876934
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Peristaltic motion of tubular gel driven by acid-autocatalytic reaction
Takashi Mikanoharaa*, Shingo Maedab, Yusuke Harac and Shuji Hashimotoa aDepartment of Applied Physics, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, 3-4-1 Okubo Shinjuku-ku,
Tokyo 169-8555, Japan; bDepartment of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Shibaura Institute of Technology, 3-7-5 Toyosu
Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8548, Japan; cNanosystem Research Institute, NRI, National Institute of Advanced Science and Technology,
AIST, Central 5-2, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba 305-8565, Japan (Received 27 February 2013; revised 15 July 2013; accepted 31 October 2013)
A novel gel actuator exhibits a peristaltic motion is designed. We proposed a new approach of coupling an acid-autocatalytic reaction and a pH-responsive gel in order to cause contraction waves. The poly(AAm-co-AAc) microphase-separated tubular gel was synthesized, which can be inflowed reaction solution to its hollow. We focused on its kinetics and evaluated the characteristics of the microphase-separated gels. And we also demonstrated that the propagation of the contraction region occurs in the tubular gel. Our final goal is to develop a biomimetic chemical robot, which realizes a peristaltic locomotion by forming contraction waves like a snail.
Keywords: chemical robot; pH-responsive gel; peristaltic motion; gel actuator; polymerization 1. Introduction
In recent years, stimuli-responsive polymer gel actuators have been attracting significant attention for their organism-specific functions.[1–4] Polymer gels have the flexible bodies allowing volume changes and also operate as the sensors of chemical reactions. For these properties, the gel actuators are considered to be applied for the biomimetic robots.
Some researchers have reported the biomimetic mobile robots. For example, the motion of a lubricated rod hydrogel like biological gaits on a soft material was demonstrated. The inter-tubular gel transfer system by external temperature regulation was also developed.
As a self-oscillating actuator, repeated bending and stretching motion of the gel by coupling with Belousov–
Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction was realized.[7,8] These researches imitate animal locomotion, such as snakes or inchworms. On the other hand, mollusks and apods achieve peculiar locomotion, which applies their flexible bodies. Especially gastropods, such as snails and slugs, can obtain the peristaltic movement by forming contraction waves, which is the propagation of the shrinking part of the body. This mechanism has the advantage that it can retain adhesive force during the locomotion because most part of the podium contacts the ground surface. In this research, we focused on producing the functional gels obtaining peristaltic movements by the chemical energy.
In previous studies, the method to form the contraction waves by coupling the pH-responsive hydrogels and the acid-autocatalytic reactions was shown.[10,11]
However, in this system, the pH-responsive cylindrical gel is fixed to continuous stirred tank reactors because it must be permanently fed with constant flows of fresh autocatalytic reactants. Therefore, this system is unsuitable for the development of a peristaltic gel actuator or a locomotive gel robot. It is necessary to develop a novel concentration tuning mechanism without the stirred reactor for the coupled system of the functional gel and the autocatalytic reaction. 2. Proposed method