Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Programmable Matter?

I am curious as to the flexibility this material may have in achieving various shapes. from the paper, we can see that it is possible to program a given sheet to fold into a small set of final shapes. But what constraints are there on such subset of shapes? It would also be nice to think about evolving the constraints on the sheets; the current (impressive) work leads to a set of pre-defined shapes, but can we let them evolve into unexpected shapes?

"Programmable sheet puckers up spontaneously into an aeroplane or a boat." News report @ Nature News, full paper @ PNAS.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Reconstituting Organ-Level Lung Functions on a Chip

"Here, we describe a biomimetic microsystem that reconstitutes the critical functional alveolar-capillary interface of the human lung. This bioinspired microdevice reproduces complex integrated organ-level responses to bacteria and inflammatory cytokines introduced into the alveolar space. [...] Mechanically active "organ-on-a-chip" microdevices that reconstitute tissue-tissue interfaces critical to organ function may therefore expand the capabilities of cell culture models and provide low-cost alternatives to animal and clinical studies for drug screening and toxicology applications." Full article @ Science

From Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering

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