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Science. 2019 Jul 12;365(6449):145-150. doi: 10.1126/science.aaw2502.

Strain-programmable fiber-based artificial muscle.

Author information

1
Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
3
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
4
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
5
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
6
Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
7
Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. anikeeva@mit.edu.

Abstract

Artificial muscles may accelerate the development of robotics, haptics, and prosthetics. Although advances in polymer-based actuators have delivered unprecedented strengths, producing these devices at scale with tunable dimensions remains a challenge. We applied a high-throughput iterative fiber-drawing technique to create strain-programmable artificial muscles with dimensions spanning three orders of magnitude. These fiber-based actuators are thermally and optically controllable, can lift more than 650 times their own weight, and withstand strains of >1000%. Integration of conductive nanowire meshes within these fiber-based muscles offers piezoresistive strain feedback and demonstrates long-term resilience across >105 deformation cycles. The scalable dimensions of these fiber-based actuators and their strength and responsiveness may extend their impact from engineering fields to biomedical applications.

PMID:
31296764
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaw2502

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