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A team of experts in mechanics, materials science, and tissue engineering at Harvard have created an extremely stretchy and tough gel that may pave the way to replacing damaged cartilage in human joints or spinal disks. Called a hydrogel, because its main ingredient is water, the new material is a hybrid of two weak gels that combine to create something much stronger. This new gel can stretch to 21 times its original length, but it is also exceptionally tough, self-healing, and biocompatible — a valuable collection of attributes that opens up new opportunities in medicine and tissue engineering. It could also be used in soft robotics, optics, artificial muscle, as a tough protective covering for wounds, or “any other place where we need hydrogels of high stretchability and high toughness,” the researchers suggest. “Conventional hydrogels are very weak and brittle — imagine a spoon breaking through jelly,” explains lead author Jeong-Yun Sun, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). “But because they are water-based and biocompatible, people would like to use them for some very challenging applications like artificial cartilage or spinal disks. For a gel to work in those settings, it has to be able to stretch and expand under compression and tension without breaking.” (via Tough super-stretchable gel is tougher than cartilage and heals itself | KurzweilAI)

A team of experts in mechanics, materials science, and tissue engineering at Harvard have created an extremely stretchy and tough gel that may pave the way to replacing damaged cartilage in human joints or spinal disks. Called a hydrogel, because its main ingredient is water, the new material is a hybrid of two weak gels that combine to create something much stronger. This new gel can stretch to 21 times its original length, but it is also exceptionally tough, self-healing, and biocompatible — a valuable collection of attributes that opens up new opportunities in medicine and tissue engineering. It could also be used in soft robotics, optics, artificial muscle, as a tough protective covering for wounds, or “any other place where we need hydrogels of high stretchability and high toughness,” the researchers suggest. “Conventional hydrogels are very weak and brittle — imagine a spoon breaking through jelly,” explains lead author Jeong-Yun Sun, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). “But because they are water-based and biocompatible, people would like to use them for some very challenging applications like artificial cartilage or spinal disks. For a gel to work in those settings, it has to be able to stretch and expand under compression and tension without breaking.” (via Tough super-stretchable gel is tougher than cartilage and heals itself | KurzweilAI)

Notes

  1. tosstwo reblogged this from logicianmagician
  2. atelophobiacat reblogged this from ambulance-shotgun
  3. cowardlydefault reblogged this from missroy and added:
    No, seriously, this IS the first step towards Medi-Gel!
  4. underpants-shogun reblogged this from missroy
  5. ambulance-shotgun reblogged this from wildcat2030
  6. missroy reblogged this from trilliondollarbooty
  7. vegangiant reblogged this from logicianmagician
  8. trulydiscombobulated reblogged this from thejavaman
  9. thejavaman reblogged this from logicianmagician and added:
    It’s things like this that make me excited that I’m a materials science major.
  10. parexus reblogged this from logicianmagician and added:
    get in my knee nao
  11. trilliondollarbooty reblogged this from logicianmagician and added:
    DOCTOR CHAKWAS’ NEW MEDIGEL IS HERE.
  12. evillyte reblogged this from logicianmagician
  13. logicianmagician reblogged this from wildcat2030
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  21. whaleboyslifeininstagram said: Pretty Awesome
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  24. wildcat2030 posted this