Yes, say Dr. Eran Sharon and his co-workers, Yael Klein and Efi Efrati, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Racah Institute of Physics, who have succeded for the first time anywhere in programming polymer sheets to bend and wrinkle by themselves into prescribed structures. Their work was described in the journal Science.
They made flat discs of a soft gel that, when warmed gently, curved into domes, saddles and even sombrero shapes. Such switchable shape control in a soft material could have applications ranging from optics to biomedicine.
The sheets change shape because the gel — a web of cross-linked polymers — shrinks at temperatures above 33 degrees celcius by an amount determined by the local polymer density.
When the density varies across the disc, the sheet buckles to relieve the pressure of uneven shrinkage. The researchers worked out what shrinkage patterns would produce the structures they wanted, then used an automated mixing system to produce “cocktails” of gels with the right properties.
The principle that is the basis for accomplishing this is based on differential geometry, the same principle used by Albert Einstein in his development of the general theory of relativity. This principle, by the way, is the one that gives us the curves in potato chips, for example.
The ability to create pre-planned, spontaneously formed objects, say the researchers, can have far-reaching effects for various manufacturing processes or for creating structures that have to meet specific climatic conditions.
Dr. Sharon sees this research as having far-reaching consequences. “Our work enables the creation of highly complex structures, which sometimes would be difficult to manufacture through regular industrial means,” he said. Additionally, such research provides greater understanding of the ways in which complex structures, such as flowers, develop in nature, he added.
Jerry Barach | alfa
Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte
17.08.2018 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
Protecting the power grid: Advanced plasma switch for more efficient transmission
17.08.2018 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences