A shape-morphing material with neural-like pathways could open the door to a new generation of wearable electronics and human/machine interfaces.
The material was developed by a team from Carnegie Mellon University by combining liquid metal micro- and nano-droplets of gallium indium with liquid crystal elastomers, a shape-morphing rubber that will move in response to heat. Adding the gallium indium to the LCE caused the material to become conductive while remaining soft and stretchable, resulting in a composite with “unprecedented multifunctionality.”
According to associate professor Carmel Majidi, "Just like a human recoils when touching something hot or sharp, the material senses, processes, and responds to its environment without any external hardware. Because it has neural-like electrical pathways, it is one step closer to artificial nervous tissue."
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