Plant-inspired TransfOrigami microfluidics

The health of a plant’s vasculature depends on its capacity to respond to environmental stimuli. Plant inspired synthetic microfluidic systems have only rarely demonstrated their environmental responsiveness. In a new report now published in Science Advances, Yi Pan and a team of researchers in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong, China, introduced bioinspired transformable microfluidics with stimuli-responsive materials embedded to respond to temperature, humidity, and light irradiance. The team designed a foldable geometry and named the device TransfOrigami microfluidics, abbreviated as TOM, to highlight the connection between its transformation and origami structure for use as an environmentally adaptive photonic reactor. The device sensed the environmental stimuli to provide positive feedback for photosynthetic conversion via morphological transformation. The team envision expanding this microsystem to broader applications, including artificial vascular networks and flexible electronics.

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