Researchers for the first time have replicated many of the capabilities of natural cilia. They produced a copolymer film that can exhibit combined thermal, chemical, and electromagnetic sensing. The material can also exhibit motile force and color changes. This polymer could potentially impact numerous industries and market sectors.
No synthetic material has demonstrated capabilities of cilia. This material proves that such materials are possible to develop and can have great utility.
Cilia are wavy hair-like structures that extend outward from surfaces of various organisms. Cilia are involved in particle movement, sensing, and motility. The ability to produce analogues to biological cilia would be of great use to numerous applications. Sensors and micro scale actuators would be particularly helpful. While not as dynamic as biological cilia, many of the properties have been replicated. This copolymer film is a major landmark.
Molecular-scale material mimicking cilia.Edit Summary