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Applications of Biologically Inspired Membranes

Freeman, Eric (2010) Applications of Biologically Inspired Membranes. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Nastic materials are a novel high energy density engineered membrane based on processes found in the plant kingdom. These membranes are engineered using biomimetic principles using protein transporters extracted from beet cells. These embedded transporters are capable of producing work through pumping fluid across the membrane (dependent on concentrations and fuel availability). Through this process, they may also produce controllable bulk deformation through the establishment of an osmotic gradient.Current experimental testing has been focused largely on a cylindrical setup, where the membrane is stretched across one side of a barrel apparatus. To determine the total potential of the nastic material, a spherical set up must be examined, which is costly to create in a laboratory environment. To determine the worth of the spherical model, a computational model was created using transport principles examined by Endresen et al.This model will be examined and modified to simulate a wide variety of conditions. Through careful evaluation of the results, data for actuation properties and model performance based on inputs and conditions will be obtained. This data will assist in determining the overall capabilities of the nastic material, and will aid future research. Finally, alternate uses for the nastic materials will be explored and discussed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Freeman, Ericecf14@pitt.eduECF14
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWeiland, Lisa Mlweiland@engr.pitt.eduLMW36
Committee MemberVipperman, Jeffrey Sjsv@pitt.eduJSV
Committee MemberClark, William Wwclark@engr.pitt.eduWCLARK
Date: 26 January 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 15 January 2009
Approval Date: 26 January 2010
Submission Date: 17 April 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Mechanical Engineering
Degree: MSME - Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biomimicry; Modeling; Nastic; Novel Actuators
Other ID:, etd-04172009-142605
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:38
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:35


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