Soft robots inspired by nature

images (1)Nature is always of great inspiration for the development of novel materials with biological applications. This is what the research team of Prof Ali Khademhosseini did by creating hydrogel based soft robots that allowed the growth of cardiomyocytes and showed self-actuating motions aligned with the contractile force of the cells.

These soft robots were fabricated by mimicking the biomechanical model of a batoid fish. Find out more about the different components of the robots and how they work in this article!

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Thin films with antireflective/antibacterial properties

downloadHave you ever thought that touchscreens can host bacteria? Think about it and you will realise why this happens….However chinese researchers have created new silica thin films containing silver nanoparticles, which not only have antibacterial properties but are also antireflective.

These new materials are very promising for technological applications…Curious to know more? Read the full article here!

Cell-sized robots that can change their shape

imagesResearchers at Cornell University built origami machines that can modify their shape in response to different stimuli and carry loads such as embedded electronics. These small robots are extremely small and are produced by graphene actuators that can fold 2D patterns into targeted 3D structures.

This research has no application for the moment, however it opens new paths to robotics for cells and biological systems.

Getting interested? Read more:

 

 

New sensors: monitoring breath for kidney disease

UnknownCurious to see if you have a kidney disease in a very fast way? You can do it by just breathing!

Researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered a sensor based on a nonporous organic semiconductor thin film that can monitor the levels of ammonia in the breath. Since ammonia is a biomarker for chronic kidney disease, this highlights the importance of this research and its future impact in the development of novel health monitoring technologies.

Read the full article here!

Theofylline

Theophylline3

The molecule of this week is theofylline, a methylxanthine that can be naturally found in cocoa beans. This molecule has a very similar chemical structure to other xanthines like caffeine or theobromine. However, it has pharmacological applications as it is used to treat asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Read more about theofylline here!

You probably heard before that doing chemistry is like cooking……BookCover

Well…It is also true that you can find some chemistry in your kitchen! To know more, read this interesting book by Matthew Hartings, who will explain you basic chemistry principles through simple recipes!
Read more here!