Polymer Gels pp 195-203 | Cite as

A Polymer Composite Showing Electrocontractile Response

  • Piero Chiarelli
  • Kayo Umezawa
  • Danilo De Rossi


In recent years renewed interest in polymer mechanochemistry (1) has provoked several studies aimed at overcoming the intrinsic limitations of previous systems in respect to their practical use as soft linear actuators for orthotics, prosthetics and advanced robotics (2). Electrolytically activated (3,4) and electrokinetically driven (5,6) mechanochemical (MC) systems have been studied to eventually provide a more convenient method of excitation, while other attemps have focused on preparing faster (7) or stronger(8) polymers. Despite these efforts, the availability of a material capable to reversibly contract and relax under electric stimuli with contraction times and forces comparable to skeletal muscles is still an elusive goal. It is the authors’ opinion that new materials and methods are definitely needed to accomplish a distributed “delivery” of electrochemical stimuli of controllable and suitable nature to trigger and sustain the mechanical action.


Polyacrylic Acid Electric Current Flow Contractile Component High Specific Conductivity Current Carry Capability 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piero Chiarelli
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kayo Umezawa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Danilo De Rossi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centro “E.Piaggio”University of PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.CNR Institute of Clinical PhysiologyPisaItaly

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