Scientists use fishing line, thread to make artificial muscles - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Scientists use fishing line, thread to make artificial muscles

Updated: Feb 20, 2014 02:49 PM
  • What's Going AroundMore>>

  • What's Going Around - April 16th

    What's Going Around - April 16th

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:16 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:16:33 GMT
    Sinus infections are going around this week. Nurse Practitioner Christy Johnson from Bay Medical-Sacred Heart Family Medicine says, "A sinus infection is inflammation or swelling of your sinuses. WhenMore >>
    A sinus infection can make a person feel miserable. More >>
  • What's Going Around - April 2nd

    What's Going Around - April 2nd

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 11:29 AM EDT2014-04-02 15:29:17 GMT
    It's allergy season, and a lot of patients are struggling right now. Dr. Brian Shaheen from Bay Medical-Sacred Heart Family Medicine says symptoms of allergies include: Congestion Clear nasal dischargeMore >>
    The first signs of pollen also signal the start of allergy season. More >>

THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Fishing line and sewing thread can create powerful artificial muscles that could be used to help disabled people or to build incredibly strong robots, a new study says.

Compared to human muscle of the same weight and length, the artificial muscles can lift 100 times more weight and make 100 times more mechanical power, the international team of researchers claimed.

The artificial muscles -- which are created by twisting and coiling high-strength polymer fishing line and thread -- generate 7.1 horsepower per kilogram. That's about the same mechanical power as a jet engine, according to the study published Feb. 21 in the journal Science.

Temperature changes power the muscles and these changes can be produced a number of ways: electrically, by the absorption of light or by the chemical reaction of fuels, the scientists said.

"The application opportunities for these polymer muscles are vast," study corresponding author Ray Baughman, chair in chemistry at the University of Texas at Dallas and director of the NanoTech Institute, said in a university news release.

"Today's most advanced humanoid robots, [artificial] limbs and wearable exoskeletons are limited by motors and hydraulic systems, whose size and weight restrict dexterity...," among other things, he said.

Along with providing incredible strength in devices such as robots and exoskeletons, these artificial muscles could be used to improve the fine-movement capabilities of minimally invasive robotic microsurgery, the researchers said. In addition, they potentially could be used to power miniature "laboratories on a chip" and to relay the sense of touch from sensors on a robotic hand to a human hand.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about artificial limbs.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.