New Adaptive Material Inspired By Human Tears

New Adaptive Material Inspired By Human Tears

By Shinji Tutoru

HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MASSACHUSETTS, USA. A new kind of adaptive material has just been designed by a group of researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. The new material has adaptive wettability and transparency features. The researchers behind it claim that this could actually lead to the first step to a system that adapts easily for different applications.

The inspiration behind the development of this adaptive material is the self-restoring systems in nature.This dynamic system is similar to the liquid film that coats the human eyes. This liquid film is formed by accumulated tears which keeps the eye moist.

At the same time, it helps keep away wastes to protect the eyes from bacteria and dust which makes it an important optical function to keep the vision clear. All of these important functions happen in the blink of an eye – literally.

The study was led by lead author Xi Yao, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He said that the system they have developed is adaptive and multifunctional. The bioinspired material is a versatile and elastic porous substrate.

The liquid surface changes its shape depending on the deformation of the substrate. It may be caused by swelling, stretching or poking. The researchers are also looking into using the new material for a wider range of industries such as construction, textiles, oil and gas pipelines, microfluidic and optical systems
in the near future.

Invention Adaptive Material
Organization Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA
Researcher Xi Yao Ph.D & Team
Field(s) Materials Science, Tears, Adaptive Materials, Nature Materials, Liquid Film
Further Information Harvard School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences

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