Bacterial spore based hygromorphs: A novel active material with potential for architectural applications

Birch, Emily, Bridgens, Ben, Zhang, Meng and Dade-Robertson, Martyn (2021) Bacterial spore based hygromorphs: A novel active material with potential for architectural applications. Sustainability, 13 (7). p. 4030. ISSN 2071-1050

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/su13074030

Abstract

This paper introduces a new active material which responds to changes in environmental humidity. There has been a growing interest in active materials which are able to respond to their environment creating dynamic architectural systems without the need for energy input or complex systems of sensors and actuators. A subset of these materials are hygromorphs which respond to changes in relative humidity (RH) and wetting through shape change. Here we introduce a novel hygromorphic material in the context of architectural design, composed of multiple monolayers of microbial spores of Bacillus subtilis and latex sheets. Methods of fabrication and testing for this new material are described, showing that small actuators made from this material demonstrate rapid, reversible and repeatable deflection in response to changes in RH. It was demonstrated that the hygromorphic actuators are able to lift at least 150% of their own mass. Investigations were also extended to understanding this new biomaterial in terms of meaningful work.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This research was funded as part of Newcastle Universities Research Investment Fund (RIF).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Active material, Bacterial spore, Hygromorph. Responsive material
Subjects: C500 Microbiology
K100 Architecture
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2021 10:14
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2021 08:30
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45748

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