An artificial muscle that runs on glucose could help pave the way to implantable artificial muscles and autonomous microrobots.
The glucose powered muscle was created by a team from Linköping University using the polypyrrole polymer, which will change in volume when an electric current is run through it. The muscle is made up of three layers—two layers of the polymer integrated with naturally occurring enzymes sandwiching a thin membrane between them. The enzymes convert glucose and oxygen to create the ions needed to cause the material to expand and contract, with no external power source required.
According to team lead Edwin Jager, "No source of voltage is required: it's enough simply to immerse the actuator into a solution of glucose in water."
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