Characterization of Young’s modulus in biomimetic jellyfish like structures with elementary dynamic/flexural features

Check out this exciting publication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Ralph Nuzzo lab. The authors designed 3Dprinted jellyfish that swim in the presence of magnetic fields. With just the right recipe of hydrogel type, mechanical properties, ionic interactions, and nanoparticles, they were able to build biomimetic structures that actuate in the presence of external field stimuli.

Elasticity is a key material parameter for designing soft-bodied biomimetic structures, and the authors needed equipment that could handle a large volume of samples in a short time frame. The Optics11Life Piuma nanoindenter was able to rise to this demand.


Sample force indentation curve on a dehydrated AlgThk gel sample.


Young’s modulus values for dehydrated AlgThk and AlgLap gels.


Young’s modulus values for hydrated AlgThk and AlgLap gels.

McCracken, J. M., Rauzan, B. M., Kjellman, J. C. E., Su, H., Rogers, S. A., Nuzzo, R. G., Ionic Hydrogels with Biomimetic 4D‐Printed Mechanical Gradients: Models for Soft‐Bodied Aquatic Organisms. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2019, 1806723. https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201806723