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      Mechanical writing of electrical polarization in poly (L-lactic) acid

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      Acta Biomaterialia

      Elsevier BV

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          Mechanical writing of ferroelectric polarization.

          Ferroelectric materials are characterized by a permanent electric dipole that can be reversed through the application of an external voltage, but a strong intrinsic coupling between polarization and deformation also causes all ferroelectrics to be piezoelectric, leading to applications in sensors and high-displacement actuators. A less explored property is flexoelectricity, the coupling between polarization and a strain gradient. We demonstrate that the stress gradient generated by the tip of an atomic force microscope can mechanically switch the polarization in the nanoscale volume of a ferroelectric film. Pure mechanical force can therefore be used as a dynamic tool for polarization control and may enable applications in which memory bits are written mechanically and read electrically.
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            A model for the excitation of osteocytes by mechanical loading-induced bone fluid shear stresses.

            A new experimentally testable hypothesis is advanced for the mechanosensory transduction mechanism by which communicating osteocytes sense the very small in vivo strains in the calcified matrix components of bone. We propose that the osteocytes, although not responsive to substantial fluid pressures, can be stimulated by relatively small fluid shear stresses acting on the membranes of their osteocytic processes. Biot's porous media theory is used to relate the combined axial and bending loads applied to a whole bone to the flow past the osteocytic processes in their canaliculi. In this theory, the bone pores of interest are the proteoglycan filled fluid annuli that surround the osteocytic processes in the canaliculi. We show that previously predicted fluid pore pressure relaxation times were a hundred-fold too short for the lacunar-canalicular porosity because they neglected the fluid drag associated with proteoglycan matrix on the surface membrane of the osteocyte and its cell processes. The recent theory developed in Tsay and Weinbaum [J. Fluid Mech. 226, 125-148 (1991)] for flow through cross-linked fiber filled channels is used to model the flow through this proteoglycan matrix. The predicted pore relaxation time, 1-2 s, closely corresponds to the times measured by Salzstein and Pollack [J. Biomechanics 20, 271-280 (1987)]. Furthermore, using this model, the magnitude of the predicted fluid induced shear stresses, 8-30 dyn cm-2, is shown to be similar to the fluid shear stresses measured in osteoblasts and other cells in which an intracellular Ca2+ shear stress response had been observed. This model is also used, in conjunction with anatomical data and the pore fluid pressure relaxation time data, to show that the spacing between the fibers is approximately 7 nm. The result is consistent with the notion that the canalicular pore space is filled with glycosaminoglycans that are ordered by albumin according to the model of Michel [J. Physiol. 404, 1-29 (1988)]. The new hypothesis is also shown to be consistent with the experiments of McLeod et al. [J. Biomechanics (submitted)] which suggest that high-frequency low-amplitude postural strains can maintain and even increase bone mass.
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              Measuring the surface dynamics of glassy polymers.

              The motion of polymer chain segments cooled below the glass transition temperature slows markedly; with sufficient cooling, segmental motion becomes completely arrested. There is debate as to whether the chain segments near the free surface, or in thin films, are affected in the same way as the bulk material. By partially embedding and then removing gold nanospheres, we produced a high surface coverage of well-defined nanodeformations on a polystyrene surface; to probe the surface dynamics, we measured the time-dependent relaxation of these surface deformations as a function of temperature from 277 to 369 kelvin. Surface relaxation was observed at all temperatures, providing strong direct evidence for enhanced surface mobility relative to the bulk. The deviation from bulk alpha relaxation became more pronounced as the temperature was decreased below the bulk glass transition temperature. The temperature dependence of the relaxation time was much weaker than that of the bulk alpha relaxation of polystyrene, and the process exhibited no discernible temperature dependence between 277 and 307 kelvin.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Acta Biomaterialia
                Acta Biomaterialia
                Elsevier BV
                17427061
                June 2021
                June 2021
                Article
                10.1016/j.actbio.2021.05.057
                © 2021

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