Oct 5, 2022

Utilizing chemo-mechanical oscillations to mimic protocell behavior in manufactured microcapsules

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, chemistry, robotics/AI

The complexity of life on Earth was derived from simplicity: From the first protocells to the growth of any organism, individual cells aggregate into basic clumps and then form more complex structures. The earliest cells lacked complicated biochemical machinery; to evolve into multicellular organisms, simple mechanisms were necessary to produce chemical signals that prompted the cells to both move and form colonies.

Replicating this behavior in synthetic systems is necessary to advance fields such as soft robotics. Chemical engineering researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering have established this feat in their latest advancement in .

The research, “Lifelike behavior of chemically oscillating mobile capsules,” was published in the journal Matter. The lead author is Oleg E. Shklyaev, post-doctoral associate with Anna Balazs, Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and the John A. Swanson Chair of Engineering.

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