A group of researchers on the College of California has developed a method to create a synthetic fiber that performs very very like human muscle fibers. Of their paper revealed within the journal Science Robotics, the researchers describe their course of and the way effectively the fiber labored when examined.
Scientists have been making an attempt for a few years to create a synthetic muscle, each to interchange muscle misplaced in human sufferers and to offer human-like qualities to robots. Such efforts have paid off in some respects. Fibers very very like human muscle fibers have been created, however they’ve suffered from gradual response occasions attributable to their complicated nature. On this new effort, the researchers have developed a course of for creating a synthetic fiber that has human-muscle kind response occasions.
The brand new method concerned utilizing a course of known as electrospinning—a decade’s previous course of developed for good textiles and in some instances tissue regeneration. Of their strategy, the researchers began with a liquid crystal elastomer (LCE), which is a sort of polymer. They created an answer containing a small quantity of LCE and sucked it into a really small syringe-like equipment. They then subjected the equipment to a burst of very excessive voltage which resulted within the polymer taking pictures out of the tip of the equipment as a really skinny stream. The stream was directed at a spinning metallic mesh that served as a collector. Because the stream dried, it fashioned into an elastic fiber measuring 10 to 100 micrometers in diameter, relying on the dimensions of the outlet within the tip of the equipment. Testing of the fiber confirmed it to have properties much like human muscle fibers similar to tensile energy, excessive energy density and fast responsiveness. Additionally they discovered the fiber could possibly be activated (constricted) utilizing both warmth or near-infrared mild.
The researchers examined the fiber by utilizing it in numerous real-world kind purposes. They constructed micro-tweezers with it, for instance, and likewise used it to direct the motion of a micro-swimming machine, a tiny synthetic arm and a microfluidic pump. The researchers observe that their course of is each simple and cheap, suggesting it could possibly be used to create fibers for all kinds of purposes.
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Qiguang He et al, Electrospun liquid crystal elastomer microfiber actuator, Science Robotics (2021). DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.abi9704
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Synthetic fiber spun from liquid crystal elastomer utilizing electrical energy performs like human muscle fiber (2021, September 2)
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