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Deployable and conformal planar micro-devices: Design and model validation

  • Author(s): Zhuang, J;
  • Ju, YS
  • et al.

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We report a design concept for a deployable planar microdevice and the modeling and experimental validation of its mechanical behavior. The device consists of foldable membranes that are suspended between flexible stems and actuated by push-pull wires. Such a deployable device can be introduced into a region of interest in its compact "collapsed" state and then deployed to conformally cover a large two-dimensional surface area for minimally invasive biomedical operations and other engineering applications. We develop and experimentally validate theoretical models based on the energy minimization approach to examine the conformality and figures of merit of the device. The experimental results obtained using model contact surfaces agree well with the prediction and quantitatively highlight the importance of the membrane bending modulus in controlling surface conformality. The present study establishes an early foundation for the mechanical design of this and related deployable planar microdevice concepts. © 2014 by the authors.

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