Carbon Nanotubes: A Solution for Processing Smart Biomaterials
In the recent years the driving force for technological change in many respects has shifted towards the design and process of materials that offer a set of responses to external stimuli or environmental conditions. These materials are called “smart materials”. Such responses are designed to fulfil the range of scenarios to which a material or structure may be exposed providing them with a particular functionality. These materials are not only useful because of their structural, chemical, physical or mechanical properties; they can also perform an action within a process. It has been described that smart structures exhibit one or more of the following features; they can act as sensors or actuators within a structural material or bonded in the surface; or they have controllable capabilities that permit to respond to the stimuli according to a prescribed function. These materials become intelligent when they have the ability to respond intelligently and autonomously to changing conditions. There are lots of possibilities within the term functional “smart materials” but in all of them, the term is used to describe systems which respond to a stimulus in a useful and predictable manner. Nowadays it is widely known the useful capability of, piezoelectric, electro-optic, magnetic, electro-mechanic materials, etc…that respond to stimuli such as, electric or magnetic fields, stress, temperature, moisture or pH. These multifunctional character and capability of biomaterials makes them suitable for a big number of applications in every order of human activity, from photochromic lenses for sunglasses to military and aerospace uses. They are already a big part of the market in the engineering industry.
M. Vallet-Regí and M. Vila
M. Vila et al., "Carbon Nanotubes: A Solution for Processing Smart Biomaterials", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 441, pp. 3-29, 2010