Russian doll deployable meta-implants: Fusion of kirigami, origami, and multi-stability

F. S.L. Bobbert*, Shahram Janbaz, T. van Manen, Yageng Li, A. A. Zadpoor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
126 Downloads (Pure)


Deployable meta-implants aim to minimize the invasiveness of orthopaedic surgeries by allowing for changes in their shape and size that are triggered by an external stimulus. Multi-stability enables deployable implants to transform their shape from some compact retracted state to the deployed state where they take their full sizes and are load-bearing. We combined multiple design features to develop a new generation of deployable orthopaedic implants. Kirigami cut patterns were used to create bi-stability in flat sheets which can be folded into deployable implants using origami techniques. Inspired by Russian dolls, we designed multi-layered specimens that allow for adjusting the mechanical properties and the geometrical features of the implants through the number of the layers. Because all layers are folded from a flat state, surface-related functionalities could be applied to our deployable implants. We fabricated specimens from polylactic acid, titanium sheets, and aluminum sheets, and demonstrated that a deployment ratio of up to ≈2 is possible. We performed experiments to characterize the deployment and load-bearing behavior of the specimens and found that the above-mentioned design variables allow for adjustments in the deployment force and the maximum force before failure. Finally, we demonstrate the possibility of decorating the specimens with micropatterns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108624
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Deployable structures
  • Mechanical behavior
  • Orthopaedic biomaterials
  • Surface patterns


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