Summary: Smart Materials and Systems Laboratory (SMSL) at Boise State University was established by Dr. Zhangxian Deng in 2018. Smart materials have much to offer over traditional “dumb” materials, since their properties vary controllably and reversibly because of stress, temperature, electrical, magnetic, or other external stimuli. The SMSL specifically focuses on magnetostrictive, piezoelectric, and shape memory materials. By leveraging the synergies of additive manufacturing, system prototyping, and multiphysics modeling, our lab has successfully tackled challenging engineering problems from INL, NASA, and local industries.

Minimum classes: N/A

Projects: Additive manufacturing of smart bio-scaffolds

The SMSL seeks self-motivated students to design, fabricate, and validate smart-material-based bio-scaffolds that can mimic mechanical vibrations in human bones induced by muscle contraction. A non-exhaustive list of research activities are as follows:

  • Additive Manufacturing of Smart Materials: synthesize nanoparticle colloid inks or plastic filaments for 3D printing; use an nScrypt micro-dispenser or 3D printer to fabricate smart materials; post-process (e.g., sintering, poling, or annealing) printed smart materials; use a mechanical load frame, magnetometer, electrical impedance analyzer to characterize physical properties of printed smart materials.
  • Validation of Smart Bio-scaffold: customize experimental setups to validate the biocompatibility of printed bio-scaffolds; investigate the effectiveness of printed bio-scaffolds in regulating the functionality of human stem cells.
  • Multiphysics Modeling: develop constitutive models that can capture the multiphysics properties of smart materials; develop finite element frameworks for smart bio-scaffolds.
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