Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

ESR 4 – 4D printed biomimetic soft robotic functions


The CSIC is the largest public research institution in Spain and one of the most renowned in the European Research Area (ERA). Research in the CSIC is structured in three main areas, Society, Life and Matter which cover most of the human knowledge, with more than 1,500 research groups and 120 Institutes distributed throughout the national territory.

Institute/Laboratory: The Institute of Nanoscience and Materials of Aragon (INMA) is a Joint Research Unit of CSIC and University of Zaragoza, that carries out internationally recognized fundamental and industrial research in its area. Within INMA, the Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory (AML) is focused on the development of organic functional materials and their microstructuring using advanced processing tools progressing towards applications of interest in areas such as photonics, biomedicine and soft robotics.


Zaragoza is the fifth city in Spain in terms of population with 700,000 inhabitants being the safest big city in the country. Located in the north-east of Spain, is well communicated by fast train (1h 30min travel time) with the Spain’s two biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona. Zaragoza is a lively city with a diverse cultural offer. Zaragoza is full of large squares and spacious pedestrian areas in the centre, a huge city park, kilometres of bike lanes, etc.



Carlos Sánchez Somolinos (CSIC)



Antonio DeSimone (Scuola Superiore Sant´Anna)


Contact email address of the supervisor:

Research project

4D printed biomimetic soft robotic functions

Soft responsive elements, mimicking the biological lightweight soft structures of living organisms, offer interesting features such as compliance, large and controlled deformations in response to various stimuli, being sometimes remotely addressed with no physical contact. 4D printing of liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) offers the possibility to prepare soft complex elements with a well-defined morphology that deform in a prescribed fashion upon stimulation with a wide variety of stimuli having therefore great potential for the implementation of smart responsive complex biomimetic structures.

The ESR project targets the rational design, supported by numerical modelling, and the preparation of 4D printed responsive structures incorporating LCEs to create biologically inspired active structures and motions with potential interest in biomedical applications.

The selected ESR will be hired by CSIC and will develop her/his activity at the Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory at INMA in Zaragoza (Spain) performing secondments in Scuola Superiore Sant´Anna (Pisa, Italy) and in University of Zaragoza and BeOnChip in Zaragoza (Spain).

PhD programme – University: Doctoral Programme in Physics – University of Zaragoza


Required MSc degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science or Engineering

English level: If English is not the candidate´s mother language a valid English certificate (at least B1) would be needed.

Desired skills:

We seek talented and motivated candidates with a background in soft matter preferably having background in liquid crystals and/or polymers. The candidate should have a strong motivation to carry out interdisciplinary experimental research as well as interest in theoretical and numerical modelling work, team work capacity and critical thinking.

Specific requirements for the enrolment in the PhD Programme: