Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Oscillating Gel Acts Like Artificial Skin, Giving Robots Potential Ability to "Feel"

March 30, 2012

PITTSBURGH-Sooner than later, robots may have the ability to "feel." In a paper published online March 26 in Advanced Functional Materials, a team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) demonstrated that a nonoscillating gel can be resuscitated in a fashion similar to a medical cardiopulmonary resuscitation. These findings pave the way for the development of a wide range of new applications that sense mechanical stimuli and respond chemically-a natural phenomenon few materials have been able to mimic.

A team of researchers at Pitt made predictions regarding the behavior of Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) gel, a material that was first fabricated in the late 1990s and shown to pulsate in the absence of any external stimuli. In fact, under certain conditions, the gel sitting in a petri dish resembles a beating heart.

Along with her colleagues, Anna Balazs, Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, predicted that BZ gel not previously oscillating could be re-excited by mechanical pressure. The prediction was actualized by MIT researchers, who proved that chemical oscillations can be triggered by mechanically compressing the BZ gel beyond a critical stress. A video from the MIT group showing this unique behavior can be accessed at http://vvgroup.scripts.mit.edu/WP/?p=1078.

"Think of it like human skin, which can provide signals to the brain that something on the body is deformed or hurt," says Balazs. "This gel has numerous far-reaching applications, such as artificial skin that could be sensory-a holy grail in robotics."

Balazs says the gel could serve as a small-scale pressure sensor for different vehicles or instruments to see whether they'd been bumped, providing diagnostics for the impact on surfaces. This sort of development-and materials like BZ gel-are things Balazs has been interested in since childhood.

"My mother would often tease me when I was young, saying I was like a mimosa plant- shy and bashful," says Balazs. "As a result, I became fascinated with the plant and its unique hide-and-seek qualities-the plant leaves fold inward and droop when touched or shaken, reopening just minutes later. I knew there had to be a scientific application regarding touch, which led me to studies like this in mechanical and chemical energy."

Also on Balazs's research team were Olga Kuksenok, research associate professor, and Victor Yashin, visiting research assistant professor, both in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering. At MIT, the work was performed by Krystyn Van Vliet, Paul M. Cook Career Development Associate Professor of Material Sciences and Engineering, and graduate student Irene Chen. (Group Web site: http://vvgroup.scripts.mit.edu/WP/).

Funding for this research was provided by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Army.

University of Pittsburgh


Related Oscillating Gel Current Events and Oscillating Gel News Articles


What your clothes may say about you
Moving closer to the possibility of "materials that compute" and wearing your computer on your sleeve, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering have designed a responsive hybrid material that is fueled by an oscillatory chemical reaction and can perform computations based on changes in the environment or movement, and potentially even respond to human vital signs.
More Oscillating Gel Current Events and Oscillating Gel News Articles

Polymeric Cryogels: Macroporous Gels with Remarkable Properties (Advances in Polymer Science)

Polymeric Cryogels: Macroporous Gels with Remarkable Properties (Advances in Polymer Science)
by Oguz Okay (Editor)


A Brief History of Polymeric Cryogels Vladmir I. Lozinsky Basic Principles of Cryotropic Gelation Vladimir I. Lozinsky, Oguz Okay Synthesis, Structure-Property Relationships of Cryogels Oguz Okay, Vladimir I. Lozinsky Kinetic Analysis of Cryotropic Gelation of Poly(vinyl alcohol)/water Solutions by Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Claudio De Rosa, Finizia Auriemma, Rocco Di Girolamo Cryogels via UV Irradiation Technique Petar D. Petrov, Christo B. Tsvetanov Inorganic Cryogels Oleg A. Shlyakhtin Cryogels for Biotechnological Applications Bo Mattiasson Poly(vinyl alcohol) Cryogels for Biomedical Applications Wankei Wan, A. Dawn Bannerman, Lifang Yang, Helium Mak.

Biorelated Polymers and Gels: Controlled Release and Applications in Biomedical Engineering (Polymers, Interfaces and Biomaterials)

Biorelated Polymers and Gels: Controlled Release and Applications in Biomedical Engineering (Polymers, Interfaces and Biomaterials)
by Teruo Okano (Author)


This book is intended to bring basic researchers, biomedical engineers, and industrial scientists up-to-date with new developments in polymers and gels. It describes the physics and chemistry underlying polymer gel phase transitions, polymer structural changes used to control biointerfactual behavior, and intelligent polymer materials which are stimuli-responsive. Biorelated Polymers and Gels provides a resource-rich discussion of the applications and potentialfor these technologies.

*
* One of the first books in this interdisciplinary field
* Brings the reader up-to-date quickly on new developments
* Describes intelligent materials, including stimuli-responsive polymers and their functions
* Provides a resource-rich discussion of...

Nanoscale Science and Technology

Nanoscale Science and Technology
by Robert Kelsall (Editor), Ian W. Hamley (Editor), Mark Geoghegan (Editor)


Nanotechnology is a vital new area of research and development addressing the control, modification and fabrication of materials, structures and devices with nanometre precision and the synthesis of such structures into systems of micro- and macroscopic dimensions. Future applications of nanoscale science and technology include motors smaller than the diameter of a human hair and single-celled organisms programmed to fabricate materials with nanometer precision.

Miniaturisation has revolutionised the semiconductor industry by making possible inexpensive integrated electronic circuits comprised of devices and wires with sub-micrometer dimensions. These integrated circuits are now ubiquitous, controlling everything from cars to toasters. The next level of miniaturisation,...

Encyclopedia of Nonlinear Science

Encyclopedia of Nonlinear Science
by Alwyn Scott (Editor)


In 438 alphabetically-arranged essays, this work provides a useful overview of the core mathematical background for nonlinear science, as well as its applications to key problems in ecology and biological systems, chemical reaction-diffusion problems, geophysics, economics, electrical and mechanical oscillations in engineering systems, lasers and nonlinear optics, fluid mechanics and turbulence, and condensed matter physics, among others.



Responsive Membranes and Materials

Responsive Membranes and Materials
by D. Bhattacharyya (Editor), Thomas Schäfer (Editor), S. R. Wickramasinghe (Editor), Sylvia Daunert (Editor)


The development of new multifunctional membranes and materials which respond to external stimuli, such as pH, temperature, light, biochemicals or magnetic or electrical signals, represents new approaches to separations, reactions, or recognitions. With multiple cooperative functions, responsive membranes and materials have applications which range from biopharmaceutical, to drug delivery systems to water treatment. This book covers recent advances in the generation and application of responsive materials and includes: Development and design of responsive membranes and materials Carbon nanotube membranes Tunable separations, reactions and nanoparticle synthesis Responsive membranes for water treatment Pore-filled membranes for drug release Biologically-inspired responsive materials and...

Essentials in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Essentials in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
by Narendra Kumar (Author), Sunita Kumbhat (Author)


This book describes various aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology. It begins with an introduction to nanoscience and nanotechnology and includes a historical prospective, nanotechnology working in nature, man -made nanomaterial and impact of nanotechnology illustrated with examples.

It goes on to describes general synthetic approaches and strategies and also deals with the characterization of nanomaterial using modern tools and techniques to give basic understanding to those interested in learning this emerging area.

It then deals with different kinds of nanomaterial such as inorganics, carbon based-, nanocomposites and self-assembled/supramolecular nano structures in terms of their varieties, synthesis, properties etc. In addition, it contains chapters devoted...

NMR Imaging of Materials (Monographs on the Physics and Chemistry of Materials)

NMR Imaging of Materials (Monographs on the Physics and Chemistry of Materials)
by Bernhard Blumich (Author)


NMR imaging of materials is a field of increasing importance. Applications expand from fundamental science like the characterization of fluid transport in porous rock, catalyst pellets and hemodialyzers into various fields of engineering for process optimization and product and quality control, for example, of polymer materials, biomaterials, elastomers, and ceramics. While the results of NMR imaging are being appreciated in a growing community, the methods of imaging are far more diverse for materials applications that for medical imaging of humans. This book provides an introduction to NMR imaging of materials covering solid-state NMR spectroscopy, imaging methods for liquid and solid samples and unusual NMR in terms of special approaches to spatial resolution like an NMR surface...

The food delusion: A roadmap to a better understanding of food, body and genes interactions.

The food delusion: A roadmap to a better understanding of food, body and genes interactions.
by Farid I. Zapparov (Author)


This book is devoted to the problems involved in modern human diet, as it changes from the time of the Neolithic revolution some 12,000 years ago and have a great impact on human health. The book offers an entirely new concept of the genome, cells and body interaction which explains the increase in population of the degenerative diseases frequency such as cancer, diabetes and many others. Systematic approach to the genome and its interaction with food formalized as the work of a strange attractor metabolism. This approach points to new direction for the study of metabolism of food and the importance of general principles associated with life origin and existence of living matter. The book is useful to anyone interested in issues of nutrition and provides an invaluable tool to assess the...

Electrical and Optical Polymer Systems: Fundamentals: Methods, and Applications (Plastics Engineering)

Electrical and Optical Polymer Systems: Fundamentals: Methods, and Applications (Plastics Engineering)
by Donald L. Wise (Author)


"Offers background information, methods of characterization, and applications for electrical and optical polymers, including biopolymers, and tutorial sections that explain how to use the techniques."

Biomedical Applications of Hydrogels Handbook

Biomedical Applications of Hydrogels Handbook
by Raphael M. Ottenbrite (Editor), Kinam Park (Editor), Teruo Okano (Editor), Nicholas A. Peppas (Editor)


Hydrogels are networks of polymer chains which can produce a colloidal gel containing over 99 per cent water. The superabsorbency and permeability of naturally occurring and synthetic hydrogels give this class of materials an amazing array of uses. These uses range from wound dressings and skin grafts to oxygen-permeable contact lenses to biodegradable delivery systems for drugs or pesticides and scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Biomedical Applications of Hydrogels Handbook provides a comprehensive description of this diverse class of materials, covering both synthesis and properties and a broad range of research and commercial applications. The Handbook is divided into four sections: Stimuli-Sensitive Hydrogels, Hydrogels for Drug Delivery, Hydrogels for Tissue...

© 2016 BrightSurf.com