Navigation Links
Oscillating gel gives synthetic materials the ability to 'speak'
Date:1/9/2013

PITTSBURGHSelf-moving gels can give synthetic materials the ability to "act alive" and mimic primitive biological communication, University of Pittsburgh researchers have found.

In a paper published in the Jan. 8 print edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Pitt research team demonstrates that a synthetic system can reconfigure itself through a combination of chemical communication and interaction with light.

Anna Balazs, principal investigator of the study and Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, has long studied the properties of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) gel, a material first fabricated in the late 1990s and shown to pulsate in the absence of any external stimuli.

In a previous study, the Pitt team noticed that long pieces of gel attached to a surface by one end "bent" toward one another, almost as if they were trying to communicate by sending signals. This hint that "chatter" might be taking place led the team to detach the fixed ends of the gels and allow them to move freely.

Balazs and her team developed a 3-D gel model to test the effects of the chemical signaling and light on the material. They found that when the gel pieces were moved far apart, they would automatically come back together, exhibiting autochemotaxisthe ability to both emit and sense a chemical, and move in response to that signal.

"This study demonstrates the ability of a synthetic material to actually 'talk to itself' and follow out a given action or command, similar to such biological species as amoeba and termites," said Balazs. "Imagine a LEGO set that could by itself unsnap its parts and then put itself back together again in different shapes but also allow you to control those shapes through chemical reaction and light."

"We find this system to be extremely exciting and important because it provides a unique opportunity to study autochemotaxis in synthetic systems," said Olga Kuksenok, a member of the research team and research associate professor in the Swanson School's Department of Chemical Engineering.


'/>"/>

Contact: B. Rose Huber
rhuber@pitt.edu
412-624-4356
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Location, location, location: Membrane residence gives proteases novel abilities
2. New ancient shark species gives insight into origin of great white
3. New brain gene gives us edge over apes, study suggests
4. New model gives hands-on help for learning the secrets of molecules
5. Exome sequencing gives cheaper, faster diagnosis in heterogeneous disease
6. Esther B. OKeeffe Foundation gives $2 million to the Scripps Research Institute
7. Analysis of speed of Greenland glaciers gives new insight for rising sea level
8. Researchers find mechanism that gives plants balance
9. Synthetic and biological nanoparticles combined to produce new metamaterials
10. New report finds increase in media coverage of synthetic biology
11. Synthetic fuel could eliminate US need for crude oil
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/21/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... a leading provider of secure digital communications services, today ... biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in ... facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile app, ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... LONDON , March 17, 2016 ... market intelligence, forecasts the global biometrics market will ... an impressive 118% increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, ... with embedded fingerprint sensors anticipated to reach two ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... Yissum Research Development Company of the ... the Hebrew University, announced today the formation of ... various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its ... investors. ... electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... May 31, 2016 , ... Cubresa Inc. , ... that their compact PET scanner called NuPET™ for simultaneous preclinical PET ... University of Arizona (UA). , PET and MRI are complementary imaging methods for ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... NeuMedics Inc. is pleased to announce that ... Innovation Northwest on June 2, 2016. The session begins at 1:10 PM and Iain ... can be successfully used as a topical agent and a treatment for ophthalmic complications ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... PBI-Gordon Corporation is pleased to announce Dave Loecke has ... 15-year career with PBI-Gordon, Dave has served in a wide variety of roles. His ... development and launch of many of PBI-Gordon’s most successful products. , “Dave has been ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ISELIN, New Jersey and ... 2016 Indegene ( ... kommerziellen und marketingorientierten Lösungen für die Life-Science-Branche, ... ), ein bekannter weltweiter Anbieter von innovativen ... im Zuge des Starts von IntraScience heute ...
Breaking Biology Technology: