Twisting elastomers show promise in soft robotics

June 22, 2020

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University have demonstrated a new method for ‘programming’ liquid crystalline elastomers (LCEs) that enables them to twist and bend in the presence of light. This made it possible to replicate the complex twisting actions of the human muscle system in the materials, a breakthrough particularly useful for applications in soft robotics …

UCI scientists engineer human cells with squid-like transparency

June 8, 2020

Octopus, squid and other sea creatures can perform a disappearing act by using specialized tissues in their bodies to manipulate the transmission and reflection of light, and now researchers at the University of California Irvine have engineered human cells to have similar transparent abilities. In a paper published recently in Nature Communications, the scientists described how …

Bio-designers produce a home-grown cellulose mask

May 25, 2020

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the race has been on to provide adequate numbers of personal protective equipment (PPE). Designers, manufacturers and individuals at home have come out in force to offer creative solutions ranging from 3D printed shields to DIY face masks.  Since many of these designs have used plastic-based material, Elizabeth Bridges and Garrett Benisch of Sum …

Production Club presents the Micrashell Body Suit

May 11, 2020

Los Angeles-based creative studio Production Club offers a solution for the music and night life industries, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has recently released renderings of its latest concept, the Micrashell Protective Suit. As stay-at-home restrictions are eased, there is still a need to be assured of safety, even when you first venture out socially.  Designed …

Microalgae used to develop materials for fabric

May 5, 2020

The textile industry is set to put microalgae to work to develop materials for fabrics, apparel and footwear, according to a Sportstextile.com article. Companies around the world are collaborating, researching and producing materials using some of the simplest organisms.  Finishes Research has made algae’s contributions to the textile industry into a rapidly changing landscape, the article reports. …

Multi-functional luminescent film can make near-infrared light visual

April 27, 2020

Infrared radiation, which is invisible, is used for various purposes, including for coronavirus detection (through thermal imaging cameras and biosensors). A Korean research team has developed a technology that visualizes infrared radiation and expands its application range, a report on www.phys.org says.  The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has announced that Dr. Kwon Seok-joon’s research …

Scientists study potential for mycelia homes in Space

February 24, 2020

Although it cannot be described as a textile, this material could replace some things that textiles provide. A team of scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California is investigating and prototyping new technologies that could grow habitable structures on the moon, Mars and beyond. The technologies rely on fungi and mycelia, the branch-like threads that are …

EXOlung claims unlimited air supply for divers

January 27, 2020

The EXOlung, an underwater breathing device, has been designed to give divers an unlimited air supply, its creator says. The device translates the diver’s swimming motions into air movement, keeping breathing air flowing—as long as the diver keeps swimming. EXOlung uses a buoy that floats on the surface of the water to provide the diver …

Cuttlefish inspires soft material turbines

January 13, 2020

Inspired by the cuttlefish’s undulating fin motion, startup company Undula Tech LLC has developed a turbine using soft material that can harvest the energy in flowing air and water. The goal, is to make renewable energy accessible and affordable worldwide.  Its Undula Generator is, by design, more adaptable, sustainable and cost-effective than rotary turbines and solar …

Wood pulp and algae T-shirt decomposes at end-of-life

November 25, 2019

Tech-based clothing startup Vollebak has launched a T-shirt made entirely from wood pulp and algae. The shirt will break down in soil or in a composter within three months. Vollebak sources wood from eucalyptus, beech and spruce trees, which are chipped and pulped before being turned into fiber, then yarn and finally into fabric for …