Living organisms expand and shrink soft tissue to implement complex three-dimensional movements and functions, but the repetition of these movements created in the laboratory materials has proven difficult. Scientist from the University of Texas at Arlington recently published a study in Nature Communications which outlined the path to finding a solution.
Kyungsuk Hume, associate Professor of materials science and engineering, and his student amirali, Nayomi has developed a process that allows you to program 2D hydrogels for expansion and contraction in space and a controlled application of forces to their surfaces, which allows us to generate complex 3D shapes and movements.
This process can potentially transform the way development and production of systems or devices for soft engineering. Potential applications of these technologies include biology-inspired soft robotics, artificial muscle with soft materials that change shape or move in response to external signals, such as our muscles and programmable matter. This concept is also applicable to other programmable content.
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