The theoretical and experimental research programs at Multiphysics Intelligent and Dynamical Systems (MInDS) laboratory focus on the structural dynamics and wave propagation in ultrasound-responsive intelligent material systems. The various interdisciplinary applications include wireless acoustic power transfer, acoustic holographic lenses, ultrasound atomization, microfluidics driven via ultrasonic, and ultrasound responsive polymer-based systems.
Intelligent material systems sometimes referred to as smart materials, can adjust their behavior to changes in external stimuli. With the increase in the usage of smart materials in many sensitive applications, the need for a remote, wireless, efficient, and biologically safe stimulus has become crucial. The current projects in MInDS address these requirements by employing Focused Ultrasound (FU) as an external trigger. FU has a unique capability of maintaining both spatial and temporal control and propagating over long distances with reduced losses, to achieve the desired response of an ultrasound-responsive smart structure. At MInDS, two categories of ultrasound-responsive smart materials are investigated; Shape Memory Polymers (SMPs) and piezoelectric materials (PZT). We investigate the acoustic-thermoelastic dynamics of ultrasound-stimulated SMPs for the next- generation of delivery, sensing, and morphing devices. SMPs can be manipulated into any temporary shape and later recover to their stress-free permanent shape when triggered by FU. FU is a promising stimulus that has a unique and superior capability to induce localized heating, activate multiple intermediate shapes, and achieve shape recovery in the polymer, noninvasively. At MInDS, we also investigate the dynamics of PZT-based Ultrasound Power Transfer (UPT) systems. UPT along with acoustic holograms is a new technology that is based on the reception of FU by piezoelectric receivers. UPT is used to wirelessly charge low to high-power electronics in biomedical implants and enclosed electronic devices operating in autonomous unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles. The further technical approach based on the combination of the nonlinear acoustic field with transmitter and receiver elastic nonlinearities is investigated.
Shima Shahab, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Office: 330 Norris Hall (MC 0219), 495 Old Turner Street, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Lab: 110 Norris Hall
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Ms. Lauren Mills
Mechanical Engineering Program Support Technician
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