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Creators/Authors contains: "Zhang, Xiaojia Shelly"

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  1. Abstract The properties of materials and structures typically remain fixed after being designed and manufactured. There is a growing interest in systems with the capability of altering their behaviors without changing geometries or material constitutions, because such reprogrammable behaviors could unlock multiple functionalities within a single design. We introduce an optimization-driven approach, based on multi-objective magneto-mechanical topology optimization, to design magneto-active metamaterials and structures whose properties can be seamlessly reprogrammed by switching on and off the external stimuli fields. This optimized material system exhibits one response under pure mechanical loading, and switches to a distinct response under joint mechanical and magnetic stimuli. We discover and experimentally demonstrate magneto-mechanical metamaterials and metastructures that realize a wide range of reprogrammable responses, including multi-functional actuation responses, adaptable snap-buckling behaviors, switchable deformation modes, and tunable bistability. The proposed approach paves the way for promising applications such as magnetic actuators, soft robots, and energy harvesters. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. We envision programmable matters that can alter their physical properties in desirable manners based on user input or autonomous sensing. This vision motivates the pursuit of mechanical metamaterials that interact with the environment in a programmable fashion. However, this has not been systematically achieved for soft metamaterials because of the highly nonlinear deformation and underdevelopment of rational design strategies. Here, we use computational morphogenesis and multimaterial polymer 3D printing to systematically create soft metamaterials with arbitrarily programmable temperature-switchable nonlinear mechanical responses under large deformations. This is made possible by harnessing the distinct glass transition temperatures of different polymers, which, when optimally synthesized, produce local and giant stiffness changes in a controllable manner. Featuring complex geometries, the generated structures and metamaterials exhibit fundamentally different yet programmable nonlinear force-displacement relations and deformation patterns as temperature varies. The rational design and fabrication establish an objective-oriented synthesis of metamaterials with freely tunable thermally adaptive behaviors. This imbues structures and materials with environment-aware intelligence.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 24, 2024
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  5. Abstract Buckling, a phenomenon historically considered undesirable, has recently been harnessed to enable innovative functionalities in materials and structures. While approaches to achieve specific buckling behaviors are widely studied, tuning these behaviors in fabricated structures without altering their geometry remains a major challenge. Here, we introduce an inverse design approach to tune buckling behavior in magnetically active structures through the variation of applied magnetic stimuli. Our proposed magneto-mechanical topology optimization formulation not only generates the geometry and magnetization distribution of these structures but also informs how the external magnetic fields should be applied to control their buckling behaviors. By utilizing the proposed strategy, we discover magnetically active structures showcasing a broad spectrum of tunable buckling mechanisms, including programmable peak forces and buckling displacements, as well as controllable mechano- and magneto-induced bistability. Furthermore, we experimentally demonstrate that multiple unit designs can be assembled into architectures, resulting in tunable multistability and programmable buckling sequences under distinct applied magnetic fields. By employing a hybrid fabrication method, we manufacture and experimentally validate the generated designs and architectures, confirming their ability to exhibit precisely programmed and tunable buckling behaviors. This research contributes to the advancement of multifunctional materials and structures that harness buckling phenomena, unlocking transformative potential for various applications, including robotics, energy harvesting, and deployable and reconfigurable devices. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  7. Anisotropy in additive manufacturing (AM), particularly in the material extrusion process, plays a crucial role in determining the actual structural performance, including the stiffness and strength of the printed parts. Unless accounted for, anisotropy can compromise the objective performance of topology-optimized structures and allow premature failures for stress-sensitive design domains. This study harnesses process-induced anisotropy in material extrusion-based 3D printing to design and fabricate stiff, strong, and lightweight structures using a two-step framework. First, an AM-oriented anisotropic strength-based topology optimization formulation optimizes the structural geometry and infill orientations, while assuming both anisotropic (i.e., transversely isotropic) and isotropic infill types as candidate material phases. The dissimilar stiffness and strength interpolation schemes in the formulation allow for the optimized allocation of anisotropic and isotropic material phases in the design domain while satisfying their respective Tsai–Wu and von Mises stress constraints. Second, a suitable fabrication methodology realizes anisotropic and isotropic material phases with appropriate infill density, controlled print path (i.e., infill directions), and strong interfaces of dissimilar material phases. Experimental investigations show up to 37% improved stiffness and 100% improved strength per mass for the optimized and fabricated structures. The anisotropic strength-based optimization improves load-carrying capacity by simultaneous infill alignment along the stress paths and topological adaptation in response to high stress concentration. The adopted interface fabrication methodology strengthens comparatively weaker anisotropic joints with minimal additional material usage and multi-axial infill patterns. Furthermore, numerically predicted failure locations agree with experimental observations. The demonstrated framework is general and can potentially be adopted for other additive manufacturing processes that exhibit anisotropy, such as fiber composites. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  9. Abstract

    As key mediators of cellular communication, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been actively explored for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. However, effective methods to functionalize EVs and modulate the interaction between EVs and recipient cells are still lacking. Here we report a facile and universal metabolic tagging technology that can install unique chemical tags (e.g., azido groups) onto EVs. The surface chemical tags enable conjugation of molecules via efficient click chemistry, for the tracking and targeted modulation of EVs. In the context of tumor EV vaccines, we show that the conjugation of toll-like receptor 9 agonists onto EVs enables timely activation of dendritic cells and generation of superior antitumor CD8+T cell response. These lead to 80% tumor-free survival against E.G7 lymphoma and 33% tumor-free survival against B16F10 melanoma. Our study yields a universal technology to generate chemically tagged EVs from parent cells, modulate EV-cell interactions, and develop potent EV vaccines.

     
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  10. It is now a well-established fact that even simple topology variations can drastically change the fracture response of structures. With the objective of gaining quantitative insight into this phenomenon, this paper puts forth a density-based topology optimization framework for the fracture response of structures subjected to quasistatic mechanical loads. One of the two key features of the proposed framework is that it makes use of a complete phase-field fracture theory that has been recently shown capable of accurately describing the nucleation and propagation of brittle fracture in a wide range of nominally elastic materials under a wide range of loading conditions. The other key feature is that the framework is based on a multi-objective function that allows optimizing in a weighted manner: ( ) the initial stiffness of the structure, ( ) the first instance at which fracture nucleates, and ( ) the energy dissipated by fracture propagation once fracture nucleation has occurred. The focus is on the basic case of structures made of a single homogeneous material featuring an isotropic linear elastic behavior alongside an isotropic strength surface and toughness. Novel interpolation rules are proposed for each of these three types of material properties. As a first effort to gain quantitative insight, the framework is deployed to optimize the fracture response of 2D structures wherein the fracture is bound to nucleate in three different types of regions: within the bulk, from geometric singularities (pre-existing cracks and sharp corners), and from smooth parts of the boundary. The obtained optimized structures are shown to exhibit significantly enhanced fracture behaviors compared to those of structures that are optimized according to conventional stiffness maximization. Furthermore, the results serve to reveal a variety of strengthening and toughening mechanisms. These include the promotion of highly porous structures, the formation of tension-compression asymmetric regions, and the removal of cracks and sharp corners. The particular mechanism that is preferred by a given structure, not surprisingly, correlates directly to the elastic, strength, and toughness properties of the material that is made of. 
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