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

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.

September 2018

The Muscle Issue

The dynamic tissue reveals its secrets

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

Vector Laboratories, a leader in the development and manufacture of labeling and detection reagents for biomedical research, introduces VECTASHIELD® Vibrance™ – antifade mounting media that delivers significant improvements to the immunofluorescence workflow.

Enabling Genomics-Guided Precision Medicine

Enabling Genomics-Guided Precision Medicine

Download this eBook from Qiagen to learn more about the promise of precision medicine and how QCITM Interpret can help deliver better care with better knowledge.

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Download this white paper from Bertin Technologies to learn how to extract and analyze lipid samples from various models!

Bio-Rad Launches CHT Ceramic Hydroxyapatite XT Media and Nuvia HP-Q Resin for Process Protein Purification

Bio-Rad Launches CHT Ceramic Hydroxyapatite XT Media and Nuvia HP-Q Resin for Process Protein Purification

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced the launch of two new chromatography media for process protein purification: CHT Ceramic Hydroxyapatite XT Media and Nuvia HP-Q Resin.