May 28, 2013 –
Researchers led by bioengineering professor Seung-Wuk Lee have created a hydrogel that can be manipulated by light.
This shape-changing gel, a biopolymer made of thin sheets of graphene combined with elastic proteins, is built with one side more porous than the other. Structures made from the gel expand and shrink unevenly in response to heat applied by a light beam and move in a controlled and predictable manner.
This research, co-authored with researchers Eddie Wang and Malav Desai, was published earlier this month in Nano Letters.
Watch a video of their waving hydrogel hand at the UC Berkeley News Center.