Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 29

dye-doped polystyrene microspheres can have further applications
including the direct visualization of two or more fluid
flows mixing.
NASA is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology.
Please contact NASA's Licensing Concierge at Agency-PatentLicensing@mail.nasa.gov
or call us at 202-358-7432 to initiate licensing
discussions. Follow this link for more information: https://
technology.nasa.gov/patent/LAR-TOPS-295.
Designing Soft Materials that
Mimic Biological Functions
The soft material demonstrates autonomous,
heartbeat-like oscillating properties.
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
A
team has developed a theoretical model to design soft materials
that demonstrate autonomous oscillating properties
that mimic biological functions. The work could advance the
design of responsive materials used to deliver therapeutics as
well as for robot-like soft materials that operate auton omously.
The design and synthesis of materials with biological functions
require a delicate balance between structural form and
physiological function. During em bryonic development, for
instance, flat sheets of embryonic cells morph through a series
of folds into intricate three-dimensional structures such as
branches, tubes, and furrows. These, in turn, become dynamic,
three-dimensional building blocks for organs performing vital
functions like heartbeat, nutrient absorption, or information
processing by the nervous system.
Such shape-forming processes, however, are controlled by
chemical and me chanical signaling events, which are not fully
understood on the microscopic level. To bridge this gap,
researchers designed computational and experimental systems
that mimic these biological interactions. Hydrogels, a class of
hydrophilic polymer materials, have emerged as candidates
capable of reproducing shape changes upon chemical and
mechanical stimulation observed in nature.
The researchers developed a theoretical model for a hydrogelbased
shell that underwent autonomous morphological changes
when induced by chemical reactions. The chemicals modified the
hanical f
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Autonomous responsive polymer shells undergo morphological changes
when triggered by an initial deformation.
Tech Briefs, July 2021
Cov
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29
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https://technology.nasa.gov/patent/LAR-TOPS-295 http://info.hotims.com/79415-737 http://info.hotims.com/79415-738 http://info.hotims.com/79415-738 http://www.abpi.net/ntbpdfclicks/l.php?202107TBNAV

Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 1
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 2
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 3
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 4
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 5
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 6
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 7
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 15
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 56
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov4
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