Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering


Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Spencer Magleby

First Faculty Reader

Larry Howell

Honors Coordinator

Brian Jensen


Mechanism Actuation, Resorbable Materials, Bioresorbable Materials, Compliant Mechanisms, Pectus Excavatum


Resorbable materials—or materials which diffuse into their surroundings—present a promising means of actuating mechanical systems. In current practice, such as in the realm of in vivo surgical devices, resorbable materials are often intended to perform a temporary function and completely dissolve when that function is completed (e.g. resorbable sutures). In this paper, resorbable materials are proposed for use in a different way: as a means for actuating mechanical systems. We create several prototypes which demonstrate that resorbable materials, combined with stored energy, can be used to actuate mechanical systems under several loading conditions and in various applications. We also present force vs. displacement and force vs. time data of the mechanisms. Using the principles illustrated here, resorbable materials offer unique, customizable ways to actuate a variety of mechanisms in a wide range of domains.