A bioinspired smart material that swells and contracts could be used to make optical lenses
Scientists in China have designed a biocompatible hydrogel based on the bilayer structure of plant organs. The material, which can swell and contract in response to pH changes, could be used to make optical lenses.
Plant organs like pine cones and wheat awns have inspired scientists to design smart materials that can undergo 3D shape transformations in response to external triggers, such as pH changes. However these materials are often made from synthetic polymers, which can limit their biocompatibility.
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J Duan et al., Soft Matter, 2017. DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02089E