4D printing of origami structures for minimally invasive surgeries using functional scaffold

Thomas Langford, Abdullah Hanafi Mohammed, Khamis Essa, Amr Elshaer , Hany Hassanin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
152 Downloads (Pure)


Origami structures have attracted attention in biomedical applications due to their ability to develop surgical tools that can be expanded from a minimal volume to a larger and functional device. On the other hand, Four-dimensional (4D) printing is an emerging technology, which involves 3D printing of smart materials that can respond to external stimuli such as heat. This short communication introduces the proof of concept of merging origami and 4D printing technologies to develop minimally invasive delivery of functional biomedical scaffolds with high shape recovery. The shape memory effect (SME) of the PLA filament and the origami designs were also assessed in terms of deformability and recovery rate. The results showed that herringbone tessellation origami structure combined with internal natural cancellous bone core satisfies the design requirement of foldable scaffolds. The substantial and consistent SME of the 4D printed herringbone tessellation origami that exhibited 96% recovery compared to 61% for PLA filament was the most significant discovery of this paper. The experiments demonstrated how the use of 4D printing in situ with origami structures could achieve reliable and repeatable results. Therefore, conclusively proving how 4D printing of origami structures can be applied to biomedical scaffolds.
Original languageEnglish
Article number332
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020


  • Origami
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • 4D printing
  • Scaffolds
  • shape memory
  • polymer


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