Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
by Staff Writers
Tel Aviv, Israel (UPI) Aug 7, 2013
A method of printing biocompatible micro-machines -- tiny sensors and motors -- could bring improved medical devices like bionic arms, Israeli researchers say.
Such tiny machines are already everywhere -- telling your smartphone screen to rotate and your camera to focus -- and have a variety of applications in consumer electronics, automobiles and medicine.
Microelectromechanical systems, better known as MEMS, are usually produced from silicon, but researchers at Tel Aviv University report they've developed a way to print biocompatible micro-machine components onto polymer membranes more suitable for implantation in the human body.
Such membranes could be used in applications such as diagnostic test devices and smart prosthetics, they said.
Switching to MEMS made with the polymer membranes could help make prosthetics more comfortable, efficient and safer for use on or inside the body, they said.
"The use of new, soft materials in micro devices stretches both the imagination and the limits of technology," Tel Aviv University doctoral candidate Leyya Engel said, "but introducing polymer MEMS to industry can only be realized with the development of printing technologies that allow for low-cost mass production."
The printing process could lead to functional sensors and actuators made almost entirely out of the polymer at the micro- and nano-scales, she said, eventually creating things like artificial muscles.
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|