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An iris tuned by artificial muscles


Project description

Inspired by the dilator muscle structure of the human eye, we have designed a radially-contracting liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) actuator resembling a mammalian iris. Liquid crystal elastomers are a new material that is contracting muscle-like when it is heated and that is therefore often referred to as artificial muscle. In the project we oriented the LCEs in a radially symmetric magnetic field to realize a radial actuation. Integrated platinum heaters embedded in polyimide are used as reliable flexible heaters . The iris maintains its circular shape during actuation and can be held at different contraction states by voltage regulation.

Start/End of project

01.08.2013 until 30.11.2014

Project manager

Prof. Dr. Hans Zappe

Contact person

Falko Preller, Stefan Schuhladen


liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs), radial, actuator, integrated heater
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