Nastic structures are potentially high-energy density smart materials that will be capable of achieving controllable deformation and shape change due to internal microactuation that functions on principles found in the biological process of nastic motion. In plants, nastic motion is accomplished through osmotic pressure changes causing a respective increase or decrease in cell volume, thereby causing net movement. In nastic structures, osmotic pressure is increased by moving fluid from low concentration to high concentration areas by means of active transport, powered by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis. Power analysis involves calculating possible ranges of actuation as a result of interior pressure exchanges and hydraulic flux rates which will determine the speed of actuation. Because pressure inside the actuating cylinder is uniform, the cylinder undergoes deformation in all the three dimensions. Predicting the work-energy balance involves considering the factors that determine the total volumetric change, including cylinder wall expansion, surface bulging and stretching, and outside forces that oppose the actuation. The hydraulic flux rates determine both the force magnitude and the actuation speed. Energy analysis considers the pressure variation range needed to accomplish the desired actuation deflection, and the energy required for active transport mechanisms to move the volume of fluid into the nastic actuator. Nonlinear effects are present, as the pressure inside the actuation cylinder increases, it takes more energy for active transport to continue moving fluid into it. The chemical reaction of ATP hydrolysis supplies the energy for active transport, which is related to the ratio of the reactants, to the products, as well as to the pH level. As the pH lowers, more energy is released through ATP hydrolysis. Therefore, as pH decreases, ATP Hydrolysis releases more energy, enabling active transport to move more fluid into the actuation cylinder, thereby increasing the internal osmotic pressure and causing material deformation work and actuation.

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