Research Fellows Directory
Miss Corinna Preuss
University of Warwick
Nature has proven to be an excellent teacher in advancing science as it has developed complex responsive systems and organisms, optimizing them through evolution in response to external environmental changes. Through observing and mimicking a natural phenomenon, advanced tailor-made materials and objects have been fabricated in a variety of fields, for example gecko-inspired adhesives. However, natural organisms operate through complex interplay of multiple phenomena.
Our research project concerns the fabrication of complex hydrogel-based actuating objects that feature self-propulsion and shape transformation abilities in order to mimic the motional characteristics of zooplankton. Alongside with the formation of these artificial jelly-objects, this biomimetic approach will be fused with the incorporation and release of temporarily entrapped (nano)capsules that contain variable ingredients, such as scents, for instance. For this purpose, three different functions are targeted to be developed independently, namely the shape transformation (morphing) and the self-propulsion (artificial swimmers) of the gels, as well as their delivery potential (controlled release of payloads, manufacturing of suitable capsules). These functions will finally be merged in an ultimate artificial hydrogel-based object. Thus, recent scientific advances in polymer and colloid chemistry are merged with soft matter physics and robotics in order to create a promising and interdisciplinary research program.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)