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Title:Time (and biology) heals all wounds…
Author(s):Raman, Ritu
Subject(s):Mechanical Science and Engineering
Abstract:Throughout human history, we have built machines using materials, such as wood and metals, that don’t adapt their functionality to suit the task at hand. Imagine instead a class of materials that could dynamically sense and respond to environmental cues… for this, we need look no further than our own bodies! The biological materials that make up your body can adapt their form and function to changing circumstances. When you exercise, you get stronger. When you cut yourself, you heal. Shown here is a millimeter-scale robot that uses living skeletal muscle to walk around. When we induce damage by cutting the muscle in half (left), the robot can no longer walk. However, because muscle is a biological material and can heal, we can seal the wound and trigger regeneration (middle). Taking a closer look at the site of damage using a fluorescent microscope (right), we see the damaged muscle (red) is being replaced by newly regenerated muscle (green). Within two days, the muscle completely recovers functionality and the robot can walk again! This is a capability synthetic materials cannot replicate, showcasing the remarkable advantages of building with biological materials, and reminding us that time (and biology) heals all wounds…
Issue Date:2017
Genre:Other
Type:Text
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URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/95894
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Ritu Ramen
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-04-17


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