Besides the claws coming out of Wolverine?s knuckles, the Marvel character is also known for his ability to self-heal. With this, scientists were able to come up with a Wolverine-inspired material that could allow robots to heal by itself.
The scientists, some from the University of California, Riverside, recently published in the Advanced Material about their discovery. Their findings lead to the creation of an ionic conductor that allows materials to regenerate.
About the Wolverine-inspired Material
The Wolverine-inspired material was described as transparent and mechanically stretchable conductive material. Since it is an ionic conductor, ions can flow through the said material, making it possible to?self-heal.
Furthermore, Ionic conductors are also responsible for energy storage, sensors, and solar energy conversion.
According to one of the authors of the paper, Chao Wang, it?s taken years to puzzle out all the properties needed in making the material. He also revealed that their discovery is just their stepping stone to more explorations.
Chao Wang also admitted that his interest in the subject of self-healing was inspired by Marvel?s Wolverine. Additionally, the discovery was also inspired by the wound healing that can be found in nature.
On the other hand, Christoph Keplinger, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado and one of the authors of the research, showed how the Wolverine-inspired material can be a subject to power up artificial muscles.
Possible uses of the material
The scientists are looking into a wide array of potential applications for the Wolverine-inspired material.
With the use of this ionic conductor, robots could finally be able to self-heal after being damaged due to mechanical failure. According to Science Daily, the scientists also believe that they could use the material to extend the life of electronic devices, specifically lithium ion batteries.
They also believe that the Wolverine-inspired material can be used for improving the biosensors used in monitoring the environment. The material can also be a huge advantage in the field of medicine as it can be used for regenerating artificial muscles.
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