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Scientists Create Artificial Flesh Having Self-Healing Power for Next-Gen 'Soft' Robots

This squishy material can be pivotal in the development of next-gen soft robots and biomedical devices.

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Updated:December 12, 2019, 7:49 PM IST
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Portable 3D Skin Printer Can Heal Wounds in Minutes (Representative Image photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ PeopleImages/ Istock.com)
(Representative Image photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ PeopleImages/ Istock.com)

Australian scientists have come up with a new jelly-like material, which they claim has the strength and durability of actual skin, ligaments, or even bone.

This squishy material can be pivotal in the development of next-gen soft robots and biomedical devices. The natural inspiration to make such a material came from jellyfish, sea cucumbers and Venus flytraps.

Luke Connal, lead senior researcher (https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/jelly-invention-can-heal-itself-like-human-skin) Associate Professor, Australian National University Research School of Chemistry said, "With the special chemistry we've engineered in the hydrogel, it can repair itself after it has been broken like human skin can." He also added that although hydrogels are usually weak, this material is strong enough to easily lift very heavy objects. In fact, it can also change its shape like human muscles.

Dr. Zhen Jiang, a co-researcher and Postdoctoral Fellow, said “In a lot of science fiction movies, we see the most challenging jobs being done by artificial humanoid robots. Our research has made a significant step towards making this possible.”

Dr. Jiang, who drew inspiration from one of his Ph.D. projects for the new hydrogel, said that he and his team expect that researchers, who will be working on the next-generation of soft robots will be interested and excited about their new way of making hydrogels.

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