Menu

Image of the Day: Colorful Butterfly-Bot

Scientists engineered biomaterials similar to those chameleons use to change color and applied them to a robot.

Apr 5, 2018
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff

A color-changing biohybrid hydrogel was used to make a 3-D robotic butterfly, which appeared to flap its wings as color shifted from the outer edge and spread to the inside of the wings.

F. FU ET AL.

A combination of hydrogels and heart cells from rats is all it takes to create a biosynthetic color-changing material. Fanfan Fu of TK institution and colleagues constructed the hydrogel to mimic the autonomous camouflage abilities of chameleons, and reported their design last week (March 28) in Science Robotics.

They incorporated the material into a butterfly-shape robot, with the hydrogel etched with nanocrystals in a pattern that refracts light, and living heart cells from rats spread on its surface. When the cells contract, the hydrogel’s orientation shifts, causing the robot’s wings to appear to flap as the colors change. The researchers then used the technology to develop a biosynthetic platform with which they could use color changes to observe heart cell responses to isoproterenol, a drug that lowers heart rate.

F. Fu et al., “Bioinspired living structural color hydrogels,” Science Robotics¸ doi:10.1126/scirobotics.aar8580, 2018.

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced that its QXDx AutoDG ddPCR System, which uses Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR technology, and the QXDx BCR-ABL %IS Kit are the industry’s first digital PCR products to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance. Used together, Bio-Rad’s system and kit can precisely and reproducibly monitor molecular response to treatment in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.