Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > New light-controlled gel makes big strides in soft robotics

Abstract:
Inspired by the way plants grow toward light sources, a phenomenon known as phototropism, bioengineers from the University of California, Berkeley have created a hydrogel that could be manipulated by light.



This video demonstrates how a new hydrogel material, shaped like a hand about two centimeters wide, can be controlled by near-infrared laser light. (Video by Eddie Wang)

New light-controlled gel makes big strides in soft robotics

Berkeley, CA | Posted on May 28th, 2013

The new hydrogel, described earlier this month in the journal Nano Letters, could have future applications in the emerging field of soft robotics, which takes a cue from squishy creatures in nature, like starfish, squids and octopuses, to create flexible components.

"Shape-changing gels such as ours could have applications for drug delivery and tissue engineering," said study principal investigator Seung-Wuk Lee, associated professor of bioengineering.

Researchers combined synthetic, elastic proteins with sheets of graphene, one-atom thick carbon sheets that stack to form graphite. Graphite is the same material used in pencil lead. The graphene sheets generate heat when exposed to near infrared light. That heat affects the synthetic proteins, which absorb water when cooled and release it when hot.

The two materials together formed the nanocomposite biopolymer, or hydrogel, which was designed so that one side was more porous than the other. The side that was more porous allowed a faster absorption and release of water than the other side.

"By combining these materials, we were able to mimic the way plant cells expand and shrink in response to light in a much more precisely controlled manner," said Lee. "Because the gels shrank unevenly, the material bent when the light hit it. We used these bending motions to demonstrate a hand-shaped hydrogel that exhibited joint-like articulation when exposed to light."

Other study authors are Eddie Wang and Malav Desai, both graduate students in bioengineering.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Sarah Yang
Media Relations

(510) 643-7741

Copyright © University of California, Berkeley

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Light-Controlled Graphene-Elastin Composite Hydrogel Actuators (link to Nano Letters abstract):

Related News Press

News and information

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Quantum manipulation power for quantum information processing gets a boost: Improving the efficiency of quantum heat engines involves reducing the number of photons in a cavity, ultimately impacting quantum manipulation power October 14th, 2017

Videos/Movies

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Graphene/ Graphite

Graphene forged into three-dimensional shapes September 26th, 2017

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices September 18th, 2017

Graphene based terahertz absorbers: Printable graphene inks enable ultrafast lasers in the terahertz range September 13th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Present Preclinical Data on ARO-AAT at The Liver Meeting(R) October 10th, 2017

Arrowhead to Present at Chardan Gene Therapy Conference October 3rd, 2017

'CRISPR-Gold' fixes Duchenne muscular dystrophy mutation in mice October 3rd, 2017

Discoveries

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Materials/Metamaterials

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

The secret to improving liquid crystal's mechanical performance: Better lubricating properties of lamellar liquid crystals could stem from changing the mobility of their structural dislocations by adding nanoparticles October 13th, 2017

Rice U. lab surprised by ultraflat magnets: Researchers create atom-thick alloys with unanticipated magnetic properties October 13th, 2017

Announcements

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project