Auckland Bioengineering Institute
Living organisms and natural phenomena have certain behaviours and properties which let them exist in harmony with the surrounding environment. By understanding these natural processes, we develop new technology to venture into new territory.
Dielectric elastomer (DE) is a highly elastic electromechanical transducer. Its soft nature makes this technology an excellent candidate for building artificial muscles. However, calling these artificial muscles can be misleading, as DEs are not only capable of actuation and sensing like real muscles, but they can also generate electrical power!
Cells in our body are constantly stretching and deforming as we move around. This is their natural environment. The Cell Gym attempts to mimic this environment, allowing cells to live and grow as they would in the human body.
Injuries heal over time. The Cell Scratcher is developed to help scientists understand this recovery process. The device emulates an injury by damaging a cluster of cells. The behaviour of the cells is then observed while placed in different environments.
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