A novel ’4D printing’ method inspired by plants

Harvard University scientists have evolved their microscale 3D printing technology to the fourth dimension, time. Inspired by natural structures like plants, which respond and change their form over time according to environmental stimuli, the team has designed 4D-printed hydrogel composite structures that change shape upon immersion in water.The new method opens up many new and exciting potential applications for 4D printing technology including smart textiles, soft electronics, biomedical devices, and tissue engineering.