This paper describes a hydrogel microspring formed by using a bevel-tip capillary and its application for a soft actuator. The hydrogel microspring was formed by extruding sodium alginate pre-gel solution into calcium chloride solution using a bevel-tip microfluidic capillary. We conducted experiments of changing relevant parameters such as flow velocity, tip angle of bevel-tip capillary and diameter of capillary. Based on those results, we suggest a model of the microspring formation. As an application of soft actuators, we encapsulated magnetic nanoparticles inside a hydrogel microspring and successfully actuated the microspring by applying magnetic field. We believe that our hydrogel microsprings could be used for various applications including actuators, sensors and scaffolds for cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering