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Jul 17, 2012Science and Technology
Materials Go To Harvard To Get SMARTer

A Harvard University engineering team has created the first artificial material that achieves homeostasis-like internal balances. The teams' “SMARTS” nanomaterial (Self-regulated Mechano-chemical Adaptively Reconfigurable Tunable System) can maintain balance and self-regulate temperature, pH, pressure, and near any environmental parameter. SMARTS is different from traditional “smart” materials, responding to multiple stimuli simultaneously and achieving true self-regulation. This regulation is achieved through SMARTS’ unique bristle like structure. The bristles in SMARTS stand up or lie down, making or breaking contact with an opposing layer that contains chemical “nutrients”. When the bristles connect with these nutrients the combined system undergoes a reaction the oppose the given stimuli. With refinement, the material could be used in medical implants to help stabilize bodily functions; for example, sensing and adjusting the level of glucose or carbon dioxide in the blood.

Relevant Locations: Cambridge, MA, USA
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