Electro-mechanically guided growth and patterns

Du, Yangkun
Su, Yipin
Lü, Chaofeng
Chen, Weiqiu
Destrade, Michel
Du, Yangkun, Su, Yipin, Lü, Chaofeng, Chen, Weiqiu, & Destrade, Michel. (2020). Electro-mechanically guided growth and patterns. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 143, doi:
Several experiments have demonstrated the existence of an electro-mechanical effect in many biological tissues and hydrogels, and its actual influence on growth, migration, and pattern formation. Here, to model these interactions and capture some growth phenomena found in Nature, we extend volume growth theory to account for an electro-elasticity coupling. Based on the multiplicative decomposition, we present a general analysis of isotropic growth and pattern formation of electro-elastic solids under external mechanical and electrical fields. As an example, we treat the case of a tubular structure to illustrate an electromechanically guided growth affected by axial strain and radial voltage. Our numerical results show that a high voltage can enhance the non-uniformity of the residual stress distribution and induce extensional buckling, while a low voltage can delay the onset of wrinkling shapes and can also generate more complex morphologies. Within a controllable range, axial tensile stretching shows the ability to stabilise the tube and help form more complex 3D patterns, while compressive stretching promotes instability. Both the applied voltage and external axial strain have a significant impact on guiding growth and pattern formation. Our modelling provides a basic tool for analysing the growth of electro-elastic materials, which can be useful for designing a pattern prescription strategy or growth selfassembly in Engineering. (c) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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