Artificial muscle created that’s 100 times stronger than ours

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

artificial muscle
Different versions of the artificial muscle material would either expand or tighten in response to heat, opening up all kinds of possibilities.

Scientists flexed their brains, spun fishing wire and sewing thread together, and created an artificial (manmade) muscle that’s 100 times stronger than regular living muscle. Even though artificial muscles have been made before, they’re usually created from expensive materials, whereas these new ones are cheap at about $5 for every 2 lbs! This powerful new material can be used for limb replacements, robotics, and high-tech wearable clothing.

Basically, the researchers twisted tiny fibers tightly together and used heat to manipulate them. The artificial muscle proved so strong and long-lasting, that it can be used for everything from humanoid (human-like) robot facial muscles to building huge structures, or even opening and closing blinds in response to the weather. Because the material expands and tightens when heated, it could eventually lead to clothing that adapts depending on the weather. Who needs to button up a coat when it’s frosty or loosen a collar when it’s hot, if your smart clothing can do it for you?

It’s especially good news for people who’ve lost muscle function, because without the expanding and tightening abilities of muscles, our bodies can’t produce force and motion. After all, muscles are responsible for our ability to move or have a posture. They’re also critical for many of our internal organs, pumping blood through our heart and passing food through our digestive system.

Featured image courtesy of cvasquez84 on Flickr.