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Journal articleMohammed AA, Yao K, Ragaisyte I, et al., 2024,
3D printing of magnetic stimuli hydrogels has shown promise in low-resolution extrusion printing but integrating superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) into water-based photo-resins has posed challenges. Rapid agglomeration and sedimentation of SPION in photo-resins require continuous mixing during printing, leading to uneven nanoparticle (NP) distribution and inconsistent magnetic actuation. Here, we optimise the use of citric acid (CA) and l-sodium ascorbate (LA) as capping agents on the SPION's surface, before trialling them with photo-resins. Ultimately, we present a two-step approach to overcome these limitations, enabling high-resolution SLA-based 3D printing of hydrogels. By employing CA in both SPION and photo-resin preparation, we achieve a highly stable mixture that requires no agitation during printing, resulting in magnetically responsive hydrogels. This methodology can be applied to various photo-resin formulations, ensuring uniform NP distribution and enabling the 3D printing of stimuli-responsive materials for applications in soft robotics, aquatic micro-swimmers, and soft actuators. The breakthrough in stable and homogenous SPION-infused photo-resins has broad implications for tissue engineering, drug delivery, and regenerative medicine, offering novel biocompatible materials with resistance to stress and deformation. This approach can be extended to other NP with poor dispersion in hydrogels, paving the way for advanced functional materials in diverse applications.
Journal articleWang H, Ding Z, Chen X, et al., 2024,
Experimental characterisation and constitutive modelling of the intra-ply tensile and shear properties of unidirectional fibre reinforced thermoplastics (UD FRTPs) under solid-state stamp forming conditions, Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, Vol: 179, ISSN: 1359-835X
To enable the success of solid-state stamp forming of unidirectional fibre reinforced thermoplastics (UD FRTPs), it is essential to accurately characterise and model the material deformation under desired conditions. This paper comprehensively investigates the intra-ply tensile and shear properties of unidirectional carbon fibre reinforced polyamide 6 (UD CF/PA6), which is a type of commonly used UD FRTP. To accomplish this, tensile and V-Notched Rail (VNR) shear tests are conducted for characterising the intra-ply transverse tensile and longitudinal shear properties, respectively. The temperature effects (180 – 220 ℃, at 0.01 /s for the transverse tensile deformation and at 0.04 /s for longitudinal shear deformation) and strain-rate effects (0.001 – 0.25 /s for transverse tensile deformation and 0.004 – 0.4 /s for the longitudinal shear deformation, both are at 200 ℃) are studied. It is found that temperature has significant effects on the intra-ply deformation properties, while the strain-rate effects are marginal. This paper also proposes a new physically based constitutive model considering all the deformable constituents, i.e., the polymer constituent reinforced by fibres (PrF) and the polymer-fibre interface (P-F). This model not only shows good prediction of the thermomechanical properties of UD CF/PA6 under intra-ply deformations, but also gives insights into the deformation mechanisms. The new physically based constitutive model is successfully embedded into Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software and validated through accurate prediction of intra-ply deformation of a CF/PA6 specimen under bias-extension. The methodologies and model developed here offer an effective tool for predicting the intra-ply deformation behaviours and guiding the solid-state stamp forming process of UD FRTPs.
Journal articleWang X, Lu Q, Lee D, et al., 2024,
This letter introduces a new type of soft continuum robot, called SCoReS, which is capable of self-controlling continuously its curvature at the segment level; in contrast to previous designs which either require external forces or machine elements, or whose variable curvature capabilities are discrete—depending on the number of locking mechanisms and segments. The ability to have a variable curvature, whose control is continuous and independent from external factors, makes a soft continuum robot more adaptive in constrained environments, similar to what is observed in nature in the elephant's trunk or ostrich's neck for instance which exhibit multiple curvatures. To this end, our soft continuum robot enables reconfigurable variable curvatures utilizing a variable stiffness growing spine based on micro-particle granular jamming for the first time. We detail the design of the proposed robot, presenting its modeling through beam theory and FEA simulation—which is validated through experiments. The robot's versatile bending profiles are then explored in experiments and an application to grasp fruits at different configurations is demonstrated.
Journal articleChen W, Rojas N, 2024,
TraKDis: A Transformer-Based Knowledge Distillation Approach for Visual Reinforcement Learning with Application to Cloth Manipulation, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Vol: 9, Pages: 2455-2462
Approaching robotic cloth manipulation using reinforcement learning based on visual feedback is appealing as robot perception and control can be learned simultaneously. However, major challenges result due to the intricate dynamics of cloth and the high dimensionality of the corresponding states, what shadows the practicality of the idea. To tackle these issues, we propose TraKDis, a novel Transformer-based Knowledge Distillation approach that decomposes the visual reinforcement learning problem into two distinct stages. In the first stage, a privileged agent is trained, which possesses complete knowledge of the cloth state information. This privileged agent acts as a teacher, providing valuable guidance and training signals for subsequent stages. The second stage involves a knowledge distillation procedure, where the knowledge acquired by the privileged agent is transferred to a vision-based agent by leveraging pre-Trained state estimation and weight initialization. TraKDis demonstrates better performance when compared to state-of-The-Art RL techniques, showing a higher performance of 21.9%, 13.8%, and 8.3% in cloth folding tasks in simulation. Furthermore, to validate robustness, we evaluate the agent in a noisy environment; the results indicate its ability to handle and adapt to environmental uncertainties effectively. Real robot experiments are also conducted to showcase the efficiency of our method in real-world scenarios.
Journal articleHan H, Qin C, Xu D, et al., 2024,
Elevating intracellular action potential recording in cardiomyocytes: A precision-enhanced and biosafe single-pulse electroporation system., Biosens Bioelectron, Vol: 246
Action potentials play a pivotal role in diverse cardiovascular physiological mechanisms. A comprehensive understanding of these intricate mechanisms necessitates a high-fidelity intracellular electrophysiological investigative approach. The amalgamation of micro-/nano-electrode arrays and electroporation confers substantial advantages in terms of high-resolution intracellular recording capabilities. Nonetheless, electroporation systems typically lack precise control, and commonly employed electroporation modes, involving tailored sequences, may escalate cellular damage and perturbation of normal physiological functions due to the multiple or higher-intensity electrical pulses. In this study, we developed an innovative electrophysiological biosensing system customized to facilitate precise single-pulse electroporation. This advancement serves to achieve optimal and uninterrupted intracellular action potential recording within cardiomyocytes. The refinement of the single-pulse electroporation technique is realized through the integration of the electroporation and assessment biosensing system, thereby ensuring a consistent and reliable means of achieving stable intracellular access. Our investigation has unveiled that the optimized single-pulse electroporation technique not only maintains robust biosafety standards but also enables the continuous capture of intracellular electrophysiological signals across an expansive three-day period. The universality of this biosensing system, adaptable to various micro/nano devices, furnishes real-time analysis and feedback concerning electroporation efficacy, guaranteeing the sustained, secure, and high-fidelity acquisition of intracellular data, thereby propelling the field of cardiovascular electrophysiological research.
Conference paperLi Y, Zhou Y, Shen C, et al., 2024,
Journal articleFerraro P, Zhao L, King C, et al., 2024,
This article describes the use of acrlong DLTs as a means to create personalized social nudges and to influence the behavior of agents in a smart city environment. Specifically, we present a scheme to price personalized risk in sharing economy applications. We provide proofs for the convergence of the proposed stochastic system and we validate our approach through the use of extensive Monte Carlo simulations.
Journal articleLu X, Lian GJ, Parker J, et al., 2024,
Effect of carbon blacks on electrical conduction and conductive binder domain of next-generation lithium-ion batteries, Journal of Power Sources, Vol: 592, ISSN: 0378-7753
High energy and power density are key requirements for next-generation lithium-ion batteries. One way to improve the former is to reduce the binder and conductive additive content. Carbon black is an important additive that facilitates electronic conduction in lithium-ion batteries and affects the conductive binder domain although it only occupies 5–8% of the electrode mass. However, the function of the structure of carbon black on short- and long-range electronic contacts and pores in the electrode is still not clear and has not been systematically researched in detail. In this work, five carbon blacks with different BET surface areas, oil absorption numbers and ordered graphitic carbon content were investigated. It was found that the ratio of disordered amorphous carbon to ordered graphitic carbon in carbon blacks strongly influences the short- and long-range electrical conduction, and the BET surface area highly affects the pore structure and ionic conductivity in the electrode. Its optimum ratio, indicated by the Raman density ID/IG, is 0.93–0.95. The recommended BET surface area was 130–200 m2/g for this experimental range. The results of this study can provide guidance for the screening of carbon blacks in the lithium-ion battery industry.
Journal articleAbayazid FF, Ghajari M, 2024,
Journal articleKakadellis S, Muranko Ż, Harris ZM, et al., 2024,
Journal articleChiara V, Sara C, Kevin S, et al., 2024,
Sound localization is essential to perceive the surrounding world and to interact with objects. This ability can be learned across time, and multisensory and motor cues play a crucial role in the learning process. A recent study demonstrated that when training localization skills, reaching to the sound source to determine its position reduced localization errors faster and to a greater extent as compared to just naming sources’ positions, despite the fact that in both tasks, participants received the same feedback about the correct position of sound sources in case of wrong response. However, it remains to establish which features have made reaching to sound more effective as compared to naming. In the present study, we introduced a further condition in which the hand is the effector providing the response, but without it reaching toward the space occupied by the target source: the pointing condition. We tested three groups of participants (naming, pointing, and reaching groups) each while performing a sound localization task in normal and altered listening situations (i.e. mild-moderate unilateral hearing loss) simulated through auditory virtual reality technology. The experiment comprised four blocks: during the first and the last block, participants were tested in normal listening condition, while during the second and the third in altered listening condition. We measured their performance, their subjective judgments (e.g. effort), and their head-related behavior (through kinematic tracking). First, people’s performance decreased when exposed to asymmetrical mild-moderate hearing impairment, more specifically on the ipsilateral side and for the pointing group. Second, we documented that all groups decreased their localization errors across altered listening blocks, but the extent of this reduction was higher for reaching and pointing as compared to the naming group. Crucially, the reaching group leads to a greater error reduction for the side where th
Journal articlePuglia M, Parker L, Clube RKM, et al., 2024,
The circular policy canvas: Mapping the European Union's policies for a sustainable fashion textiles industry, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN: 0921-3449
Conference paperDave RJ, Min X, Lou Z, et al., 2024,
Conference paperZhang M, Stewart R, Bryan-Kinns N, 2024,
Conference paperKao D, Ballou N, Gerling K, et al., 2024,
How does Juicy Game Feedback Motivate? Testing Curiosity, Competence, and Effectance, New York, CHI 2024, Publisher: ACM
‘Juicy’ or immediate abundant action feedback is widely held to make video games enjoyable and intrinsically motivating. Yet we do not know why it works: Which motives are mediating it? Which features afford it? In a pre-registered (n=1,699) online experiment, we tested three motives mapping prior practitioner discourse— effectance, competence, and curiosity—and connected design fea- tures. Using a dedicated action RPG and a 2x2+control design, we varied feedback amplification, success-dependence, and variabil- ity and recorded self-reported effectance, competence, curiosity, and enjoyment as well as free-choice playtime. Structural equa- tion models show curiosity as the strongest enjoyment and only playtime predictor and support theorised competence pathways. Success dependence enhanced all motives, while amplification un- expectedly reduced them, possibly because the tested condition unintentionally impeded players’ sense of agency. Our study ev- idences uncertain success affording curiosity as an underappre- ciated moment-to-moment engagement driver, directly supports competence-related theory, and suggests that prior juicy game feel guidance ties to legible action-outcome bindings and graded success as preconditions of positive ‘low-level’ user experience.
Journal articleLi H, Gong Y, Zhou H, et al., 2024,
Journal articleNaylor Marlow M, Chen J, Wu B, 2024,
Practical lithium-ion battery systems require parallelisation of tens to hundreds of cells, however understanding of how pack-level thermal gradients influence lifetime performance remains a research gap. Here we present an experimental study of surface cooled parallel string battery packs (temperature range 20–45 °C), and identify two main operational modes; convergent degradation with homogeneous temperatures, and (the more detrimental) divergent degradation driven by thermal gradients. We attribute the divergent case to the, often overlooked, cathode impedance growth. This was negatively correlated with temperature and can cause positive feedback where the impedance of cells in parallel diverge over time; increasing heterogeneous current and state-of-charge distributions. These conclusions are supported by current distribution measurements, decoupled impedance measurements and degradation mode analysis. From this, mechanistic explanations are proposed, alongside a publicly available aging dataset, which highlights the critical role of capturing cathode degradation in parallel-connected batteries; a key insight for battery pack developers
Journal articlePinkse J, Demirel P, Marino A, 2024,
Transition pathways for net zero encompass seemingly insurmountable innovation challenges for the scaling of less mature technological solutions such as hydrogen, materials substitution, and electrification as well as societal challenges to increase the market acceptability of these solutions. In this article, we present a conceptual framework which provides a firm-level perspective on net-zero innovation which has four unique characteristics, i.e. it is complex, systemic, urgent, and directional. The framework shows that the input, process, and output constraints that incumbent firms face in the net-zero transition can be tackled through four firm-level innovation levers – i.e. recombinative, collaborative, integrative, and socio-cognitive capabilities – which, in concert, act as enablers for firms to address these net-zero constraints. We conclude the article by outlining the framework’s main insights for firms’ innovation strategies for net zero and the policy implications. We also propose avenues for future research on net-zero innovation.
Journal articleFan Y, Olsson E, Johannessen B, et al., 2024,
Manipulation of Transition Metal Migration via Cr-Doping for Better-Performance Li-Rich, Co-Free Cathodes, ACS Energy Letters, Pages: 487-496
The irreversible migration of transition metals is a primary issue, resulting in detrimental structural changes and poor battery performance in Li-rich layered oxide (LLO) cathodes. Herein, we propose that manipulating the migration of transition metals between octahedral and tetrahedral sites effectively inhibits undesirable phase transitions by stabilizing the delithiated structure of LLOs at high potential. This is demonstrated by introducing Cr into the Co-free LLO, Li1.2Ni0.2Mn0.6O2. A new spinel-like phase, accompanied by significant lattice variation, was observed in the heavily cycled Co-free LLO at high potential by using operando synchrotron characterizations. Benefiting from a well-maintained solid-solution reaction after long-term cycling, Cr-doped Li1.2Ni0.2Mn0.6O2 delivers up to 99% of its initial discharge capacity after 200 cycles at 1C (∼200 mAh g-1), far surpassing the pristine material (∼74%). The work provides valuable insights into the structural degradation mechanisms of LLOs and underscores the importance of stabilizing the delithiated structure at high potential.
Journal articleGonzález-Toledo D, Cuevas-Rodríguez M, Vicente T, et al., 2024,
Spatial release from masking in the median plane with non-native speakers using individual and mannequin head related transfer functions., J Acoust Soc Am, Vol: 155, Pages: 284-293
Spatial release from masking (SRM) in speech-on-speech tasks has been widely studied in the horizontal plane, where interaural cues play a fundamental role. Several studies have also observed SRM for sources located in the median plane, where (monaural) spectral cues are more important. However, a relatively unexplored research question concerns the impact of head-related transfer function (HRTF) personalisation on SRM, for example, whether using individually-measured HRTFs results in better performance if compared with the use of mannequin HRTFs. This study compares SRM in the median plane in a speech-on-speech virtual task rendered using both individual and mannequin HRTFs. SRM is obtained using English sentences with non-native English speakers. Our participants show lower SRM performances compared to those found by others using native English participants. Furthermore, SRM is significantly larger when the source is spatialised using the individual HRTF, and this effect is more marked for those with lower English proficiency. Further analyses using a spectral distortion metric and the estimation of the better-ear effect, show that the observed SRM can only partially be explained by HRTF-specific factors and that the effect of the familiarity with individual spatial cues is likely to be the most significant element driving these results.
Journal articleAlmukhtar A, Batcup C, Bowman M, et al., 2024,
Barriers and facilitators to sustainable operating theatres: a systematic review using the Theoretical Domains Framework, International Journal of Surgery, Vol: 110, Pages: 554-568, ISSN: 1743-9159
Background:The health sector contributes significantly to the climate crisis. Operating theatres in particular are a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions and waste, and while there are several evidence-based guidelines to reduce this impact, these are often not followed. We systematically reviewed the literature to identify barriers and facilitators of sustainable behaviour in operating theatres, categorising these using the TheoreticalDomains Framework (TDF).Method:Medline, Embase, PsychInfo, and Global Health databases were searched for articles published between January 2000- June 2023, using the concepts: barriers and facilitators, sustainability, and surgery. Two reviewers screened abstracts from identified studies, evaluated quality, and extracted data. Identified determinants weremapped to TDF domains and further themes as required.Findings:Twenty-one studies were selected for analysis and assessment (seventeen surveys and four interview studies) comprising 8286 participants, including surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists. Eighteen themes across ten TDF domains were identified. The mostcommon barriers to adoption of green behaviours in operating theatres were in domains of: ‘knowledge’ (N=18) e.g. knowledge of sustainable practices;‘environmental context and resources’ (N=16) e.g.‘personnel shortage and workload and inadequate recycling facilities; ‘social influences’ (N=9) e.g. lack ofleadership/organisational mandate or support; ‘beliefs about consequences’ (N=9) e.g. concerns regarding safety. Intention was the most common facilitator, with eleven studies citing it.Discussion:Despite intentions to adopt sustainable practices in operating theatres, this review identifies several barriers to doing so. Interventions should focus on mitigating these, especially by improving staff's knowledge of sustainability practices and working within the environmental context and time pressures. Furthermore, inst
Journal articleRaja AA, Pinson P, Kazempour J, et al., 2024,
In many areas of industry and society, including energy, healthcare, and logistics, agents collect vast amounts of data that are deemed proprietary. These data owners extract predictive information of varying quality and relevance from data depending on quantity, inherent information content, and their own technical expertise. Aggregating these data and heterogeneous predictive skills, which are distributed in terms of ownership, can result in a higher collective value for a prediction task. In this paper, a platform for improving predictions via the implicit pooling of private information in return for possible remuneration is envisioned. Specifically, a wagering-based forecast elicitation market platform has been designed, in which a buyer intending to improve their forecasts posts a prediction task, and sellers respond to it with their forecast reports and wagers. This market delivers an aggregated forecast to the buyer (pre-event) and allocates a payoff to the sellers (post-event) for their contribution. A payoff mechanism is proposed and it is proven that it satisfies several desirable economic properties, including those specific to electronic platforms. Furthermore, the properties of the forecast aggregation operator and scoring rules are discussed in order to emphasize their effect on the sellers’ payoff. Finally, numerical examples are provided in order to illustrate the structure and properties of the proposed market platform.
Journal articleWen H, Pinson P, Gu J, et al., 2024,
Wind power forecasting is essential to power system operation and electricity markets. As abundant data became available thanks to the deployment of measurement infrastructures and the democratization of meteorological modeling, extensive data-driven approaches have been developed within both point and probabilistic forecasting frameworks. These models usually assume that the dataset at hand is complete and overlook missing value issues that often occur in practice. In contrast to that common approach, we here rigorously consider the wind power forecasting problem in the presence of missing values, by jointly accommodating imputation and forecasting tasks. Our approach can infer the joint distribution of input features and target variables at the model estimation stage based on incomplete observations only. We place emphasis on a fully conditional specification method, owing to its desirable properties, e.g., being assumption-free when it comes to these joint distributions. Then, at the operational forecasting stage, with available features at hand, one can issue forecasts by implicitly imputing all missing entries. The approach is applicable to both point and probabilistic forecasting, while yielding competitive forecast quality in both simulated and real-world case studies. The results confirm that by using a powerful universal imputation method based on a fully conditional specification, the proposed universal imputation approach is superior to the common impute-then-predict approach, especially in the context of probabilistic forecasting.
Journal articleWang Z, Acha S, Bird M, et al., 2024,
A total cost of ownership analysis of zero emission powertrain solutions for the heavy goods vehicle sector, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol: 434, ISSN: 0959-6526
Transport-related activities represented 34% of the total carbon emissions in the UK in 2022 and heavy-duty vehicles (HGVs) accounted for one-fifth of the road transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Currently, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are considered as suitable replacements for diesel fleets. However, these technologies continue to face techno-economic barriers, creating uncertainty for fleet operators wanting to transition away from diesel-powered internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). This paper assesses the performance and cost competitiveness of BEV and FCEV powertrain solutions in the hard-to-abate HGV sector. The study evaluates the impact of battery degradation and a carbon tax on the cost of owning the vehicles. An integrated total cost of ownership (TCO) model, which includes these factors for the first time, is developed to study a large retailer's HGV fleet operating in the UK. The modelling framework compares the capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) of alternative technologies against ICEVs. The TCO of BEVs and FCEVs are 11% to 33% and 37% to 78% higher than ICEVs; respectively. Despite these differences, by adopting a longer lifetime for the vehicle it can effectively narrow the cost gap. Alternatively, cost parity with ICEVs could be achieved if BEV battery cost reduces by 56% or if FCEV fuel cell cost reduces by 60%. Besides, the pivot point for hydrogen price is determined at £2.5 per kg. The findings suggest that BEV is closer to market as its TCO value is becoming competitive, whereas FCEV provides a more viable solution than BEV for long-haul applications due to shorter refuelling time and lower load capacity penalties. Furthermore, degradation of performance in lithium-ion batteries is found to have a minor impact on TCO if battery replacement is not required. However, critical component replacement and warranty can influence commercial viability. Given
Conference paperLee D, Chen W, Rojas N, 2024,
Synthetic data enables faster annotation and robust segmentation for multi-object grasping in clutter, International Conference on Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering
Journal articleLee D, Chen W, Chen X, et al., 2024,
G.O.G: A Versatile Gripper-On-Gripper Design for Bimanual Cloth Manipulation with a Single Robotic Arm, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, ISSN: 2377-3766
Conference paperWang X, Rojas N, 2024,
Cosserat Rod Modeling and Validation for a Soft Continuum Robot with Self-Controllable Variable Curvature, IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics
Journal articleSadan MK, Lian GJ, Smith RM, et al., 2023,
The conventional method of manufacturing lithium-ion battery electrodes employs a complex slurry casting process with solvents that are not environmentally friendly and process parameters that are often difficult to control. This study explores a solvent-free dry electrode fabrication process of Co- and Ni-free LiMn2O4 (LMO) cathodes using a fibrillated polymer, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). A thick, dry electrode (265–368 μm, 30–64 mg cm–2) of LMO cathode was prepared successfully for the first time. Altering the conductive additives in the LMO dry electrode revealed multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as the best conducting agent for dry electrode formulation in terms of conductivity and rate performance. Additionally, an all-dry electrode full cell consisting of both a dry electrode cathode (LMO) and an anode (LTO) delivered a stable cycling performance with a capacity retention of 82.8% after 200 cycles, demonstrating the scope for all-dry electrode full cells for future applications.
Journal articleMorley JD, George C, Hadler K, et al., 2023,
Crystallographic features of battery active particles impose an inherent limitation on their electrochemical figures of merit namely capacity, roundtrip efficiency, longevity, safety, and recyclability. Therefore, crystallographic properties of these particles are increasingly measured not only to clarify the principal pathways by which they store and release charge but to realize the full potential of batteries. Here, state-of-the-art advances in Li+, K+, and Na+ chemistries are reviewed to reiterate the links between crystallography variations and battery electrochemical trends. These manifest at different length scales and are accompanied by a multiplicity of processes such as doping, cation disorder, directional crystal growth and extra redox. In light of this, an emphasis is placed on the need for more accurate correlations between crystallographic structure and battery electrochemistry in order to harness crystallographic beneficiation into electrode material design and manufacture, translating into high-performance and safe energy storage solutions.
Journal articleGovey-Scotland J, Johnstone L, Myant C, et al., 2023,
Over the past few decades, there have been increasing global efforts to limit or ban the use of animals for testing cosmetic products. This ambition has been at the heart of international endeavours to develop new in vitro and animal-free approaches for assessing the safety of cosmetics. While several of these new approach methodologies (NAMs) have been approved for assessing different toxicological endpoints in the UK and across the EU, there remains an absence of animal-free methods for screening for dermal absorption; a measure that assesses the degree to which chemical substances can become systemically available through contact with human skin. Here, we identify some of the major technical barriers that have impacted regulatory recognition of an in vitro skin model for this purpose and propose how these could be overcome on-chip using artificial cells engineered from the bottom-up. As part of our future perspective, we suggest how this could be realised using a digital biomanufacturing pipeline that connects the design, microfluidic generation and 3D printing of artificial cells into user-crafted synthetic tissues. We highlight milestone achievements towards this goal, identify future challenges, and suggest how the ability to engineer animal-free skin models could have significant long-term consequences for dermal absorption screening, as well as for other applications.
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