ABIOMATER: Magnetically Actuated BIO-inspired metaMATERials
Metamaterials are revolutionizing the way we think about material properties, producing effects not seen in nature. However, the properties of metamaterials are fixed after fabrication. ABIOMATER will change that by designing materials with properties that can be switched remotely with a magnetic field. Pairs of interacting microscopic particles will be incorporated into elastic scaffolds, enabling mechanical and optical characteristics the material to be controlled magnetically. Using the magneto-elastic metamaterials, we will develop a suite of prototype devices for lab-on-a-chip systems, including fluidic micropumps, modifiable filters, tuneable optical devices and bio-compatible substrates with programmable strain fields.
ABIOMATER is funded by the European Commission, combining expertise of the University of Exeter, the University of Oxford, SPINTEC (Grenoble), the University of Barcelona and Platform Kinetics Ltd. The project requires a highly interdisciplinary approach and a close interplay between theory and experiment to integrate the magnetic, mechanic and hydrodynamic properties in a single device. Each partner in the consortium is a leader in their respective fields: magnetic materials and lithography techniques (University of Exeter), structural mechanics (University of Oxford), cell biology and magnetic swimmer fabrication (SPINTEC), microfluidic systems (University of Barcelona) and device commercialization (Platform Kinetics). ABIOMATER is coordinated by Dr Feodor Ogrin, the University of Exeter, and runs from 1st Novemeber 2015 to 31st October 2018.