Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have developed a way to mimic the biological responses of animals such as octopi or cuttlefish, which change their shape in the face of danger, by eliciting a biomimetic response using hydrogels. Hydrogels are used in most contact lenses and microfluidic or fluid-controlled technologies already, but the University of Pittsburgh researchers were able to redesign them to be reconfigured and controlled by light in a self-sustained movement. The study was recently published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
“Imagine an apartment with a particular arrangement of rooms all in one location,” said lead author Anna Balazs, University of Pittsburgh Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. “Now, consider the possibility of being able to shine a particular configuration of lights on this structure and thereby completely changing not only the entire layout, but also the location of the apartment. This is what we’ve demonstrated with hydrogels.”
According to a University of Pittsburgh news article, the researchers believe their work will have a large impact on manufacturing and sustainability. They are now interested in researching the effect of embedding microscopic fibers into the gel to gain even more control of the response the material makes to other stimuli.
University of Pittsburgh
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The University of Pittsburgh contributes a great deal of research to benefit general scientific knowledge, often thanks to the school’s wealth of research funding. Lab suppliers marketing lab products and life science products may be interested in the latest NIH and NSF funding statistics. The University of Pittsburgh received $430 million from the NIH in 2012. In 2011, the NIH ranked the University of Pittsburgh sixth in the nation for direct plus indirect costs in the life sciences, excluding R&D contracts and ARRA awards, making the total $416.3 million. For a full list of life science departments receiving NIH funding organized by department name, total funding awarded and number of awards received, please visit the NIH website.
In addition to receiving $430 million from the NIH, the University of Pittsburgh received $24.7 million from the NSF in 2012. The NSF also ranked the University of Pittsburgh ninth in the country in 2009 for total R&D expenditures in the life sciences, having spent a total of $544.5 million. For a full list of NSF-funded projects at the University of Pittsburgh, please visit the NSF website.
Given these latest funding statistics, lab suppliers marketing lab products and life science products in Pennsylvania may want to look into attending life science marketing events at the University of Pittsburgh. Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. invites lab suppliers to reach out to researchers, lab managers and purchasing agents at the University of Pittsburgh at our Pittsburgh BioResearch Product Faire™ Event. Last year, the Pittsburgh BioResearch Product Faire™ Event attracted 442 attendees, of which 94 were purchasing agents, professors and post docs, and 66 were lab managers. The visitors came from 26 different research buildings and 55 departments around campus.
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full-service science research marketing and events-planning company that has been organizing trade shows at top research universities for 20 years. If you’d to market your lab products and life science products at life science marketing events closer to home, we encourage you to view our 2013 calendar of events. To view more funding statistics for the University of Pittsburgh, or for more information on our Pittsburgh BioResearch Product Faire™ Event, click on the button below.