#materialscience

Research, development and commercial applications of advanced flexible materials.

Recent Articles

New Technologies Combined with Flexible Materials Create a New E-Skin for Prosthetics

In Brief

More than two million Americans are currently living with a lost limb. The use of artificial limbs has been around for millennia, dating back to ancient Egyptians. However, it wasn't until 1912 that lighter, aluminum prosthesis were available. The 21st century will no doubt be remembered as a significant step forward in prosthetic functionality as well. Through the combination of flexible materials that mimic human skin and sensory-enabled technologies, researchers are helping amputees become more functional and improve their overall quality of life.

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Advances in Exoskeletal Materials

In Brief

Developments in prostheses and robot technology have advanced rapidly, leading to the manufacture of devices known as 'exoskeletons.' These rigid devices, usually constructed with plastic and metal, act as an external skeleton, providing support and mobility to someone with decreased muscle tone or activity. While these devices provide exciting capabilities to the wearer, they are inherently heavy and inflexible.

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5 Types of Flexible Composites Transforming Your Healthcare

In Brief

Simply put, a composite is a material made from two or more materials that have different properties. When combined together, the chemical and physical properties of the different materials work together to form a unique material or composite. Combining materials is nothing new. The Egyptians were doing it millenniums ago, combining mud and straw to make buildings, boats, and pottery. The 20th century saw great leaps in composites, largely spurred on by the second world war. In recent decades, however, composite materials have aided the production of a new gold standard in healthcare.  

 

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What's the next step in Fighting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria? Nanotechnology

In Brief

Over the last hundred years, antibiotics have been central to the extraordinary rate of improvement in medical technology. From swiftly curing basic infections to raising the rate of survival after invasive surgical procedures, they have given humanity superior life expectancy and overall health today than at any point in the history of civilization. As many know, however, excessive and improper prescription of antibiotics to treat illness has led to the appearance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In the search for novel approaches to fighting this bacteria, nanotechnology has come into increasing use.

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Recent Advances in Bioink Design for 3D Bioprinting

In Brief

Despite recent advances in tissue engineering, there remains a lack of tissues and organs for transplantation and a shortage of tissue models for drug discovery and testing. Some of the hindrances involve conventional techniques, such as porogen-leaching, injection molding, and electrospinning due to the limited control over scaffold architecture, pore shape, composition, size, and distribution.

 

3D bioprinting overcomes these barriers by enabling fabrication of scaffolds, devices, and tissue models with a high complexity. Using computer-aided design, 3D printing facilitates construction of tissues from commonly used medical imaging like x-rays, MRI's, and CT scans.

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