Growth of a hierarchical, bio-inspired vasculature in an epoxy matrix using sacrificial fibers and electrical treeing

K. R. Hart, K. D. Behler, E. D. Wetzel, Scott R White

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

In nature, plants and animals use internal vasculatures to control many biological functions including nutrient transport, temperature regulation and self-repair. Here we report on a new technique for incorporating a system of bio-mimetic veins and capillaries in an epoxy matrix using a sacrificial filament in conjunction with electrical treeing technologies. Sacrificial filaments are manufactured using chemically treated Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) fibers. These fibers, when heated above 200C, sublimate via a de-polymerization and vaporization process referred to as Vaporization of Sacrifical Components (VaSC). In this work, gold-palladium coated PLA fibers are cast into an epoxy matrix and removed via the VaSC process, leaving large, hollow internal channels with conductive side-walls. A smaller network of dense, highly-branched channels is then grown from the conductive sidewalls using the electrical treeing approach resulting in a continuous hollow network in the host polymer which emulates vessels found in the human circulatory system. Applications for this pluripotent system include multifunctional structural materials capable of self-healing, thermal regulation or electrical and magnetic signature modulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication27th Annual Technical Conference of the American Society for Composites 2012, Held Jointly with 15th Joint US-Japan Conference on Composite Materials and ASTM-D30 Meeting
Pages1792-1806
Number of pages15
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Event27th Annual Technical Conference of the American Society for Composites 2012, Held Jointly with 15th Joint US-Japan Conference on Composite Materials and ASTM-D30 Meeting - Arlington, TX, United States
Duration: Oct 1 2012Oct 3 2012

Publication series

Name27th Annual Technical Conference of the American Society for Composites 2012, Held Jointly with 15th Joint US-Japan Conference on Composite Materials and ASTM-D30 Meeting

Other

Other27th Annual Technical Conference of the American Society for Composites 2012, Held Jointly with 15th Joint US-Japan Conference on Composite Materials and ASTM-D30 Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityArlington, TX
Period10/1/1210/3/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry

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