[Advanced Materials]Bioinspired Helical Microfibers from Microfluidics
Helical objects are among the most important and landmark structures in nature, and represent an emerging group of materials with unique spiral geometry; because of their enriched physical and chemical properties, they can have multiple functionalities. However, the fabrication of such complex helical materials at the micro- or nanoscale level remains a challenge. Here, a coaxial capillary microfluidic system, with the functions of consecutive spinning and spiraling, is presented for scalable generation of helical microfibers. The generation processes can be precisely tuned by adjusting the flow rates, and thus the length, diameter, and pitch of the helical microfibers are highly controllable. Varying the injection capillary design of the microfluidics enables the generation of helical microfibers with structures such as the novel Janus, triplex, core–shell, and even double-helix structures. The potential use of these helical microfibers is also explored for magnetically and thermodynamically triggered microsprings, as well as for a force indicator for contraction of cardiomyocytes. These indicate that such helical microfibers are highly versatile for different applications.
Yunru Yu, Fanfan Fu, Luoran Shang, Yao Cheng, Zhongze Gu, Yuanjin Zhao
First published: 7 March 2017 DOI: 10.1002/adma.201605765