Ultra-soft liquid robots for biomedical and environmental applications

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Improved image of aquabots. The micrograph in the lower left corner is the “σ” bending of the aquabot. The micrograph in the upper right corner represents the compartment constructions of the aquabot. {Zhu, Shipei, et al. “Aquabots”. ACS nano (2022).} Copyright {2022} American Chemical Society.

Lately, roboticists have been developing all kinds of robotic techniques with totally different physical builds and skills. Most of these robots are made from hard materials such as steel or soft materials such as silicone and rubbery materials.

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have just created Aquabots, a new class of soggy robots made mostly of liquids. Because most biological techniques are composed mostly of water or other aqueous solutions, the new robots were teased in a paper published in the journal Nature. ACS Nanocan have very valuable biomedical and environmental functions.

“We are committed to growing adaptive interfacial supply teams using nanoparticles and polyelectrolytes at the oil-water and water-water interface,” said Ho Cheung (Anderson) Shum, Thomas P. Russell, and Shipei Zhu at TechXplore. email. “Our idea was to assemble the supplies where the interfaces and the assemblies are enclosed in the shapes of the fluids. Shapes are dictated by using external forces to create random shapes, or by using all-fluid 3D printing to have the ability to arrange assemblies in space.

Shum, Russell, Zhu and colleagues mixed all-liquid 3D printing strategies with methods for combining aqueous biphasic assemblies (ATPS), 3D constructs, to understand synthetic constructs that mimic organic techniques. ATPS is a key space for HKU’s analysis group led by Professor Shum.

The concept for the final paper originated when Zhu, then a graduate researcher at HKU, became interested in the potential for integrating magnetic nanoparticles into ATPS assembly techniques. This can allow them to direct the movement of their ATPS constructs using external magnetic fields which can produce robotic techniques that can be ultra-smooth, versatile, and adaptable to particular features.

“Our article is the end result of Zhu’s painstaking work,” Shum and Russell said. “Current lightweight robots are designed for materials such as poly (dimethylsiloxanes), which are good for flexibility but have equivalent limitations in the ability to compress them. Making them useful with particular chemical characteristics is essential, if difficult, for grabbing and sourcing supplies. Aquabots overcome these limitations.

The robots launched by this analysis group were assembled in aquatic environments. This means that they will work in aqueous environments and be suitable for performing certain tasks using water-soluble compounds.

“Aquabots open up new alternatives for copying biologically inspired resources and properties such as dynamic permeability and compartmentalization,” Russell and Zhu said. Mentioned. “Robots are fully aquatic, they have water inside and water on the surface. They are often simply functionalized to be biocompatible, so it is not difficult to think of bio-applications, especially throughout the body, where such constructs could possibly be used.

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