According tomedia reports, in the near future, we may see the default absorption of body fluids wound dressing, but also on demand release of drugs. The same material may allow robots to “sweat to cool themselves” in the future. The substance, described as an artificial skin, was developed by a team led by Associate Professor Danqing Liu of Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. It takes the form of thin, flexible sheets made of liquid crystal polymers, which insert a series of micron-sized pores. Like a sponge, it can absorb liquid from these pores through capillary action.
Once affected by harmless low-energy radio signals, the liquid crystal molecules in the skin are reversed to match the direction of transmission of radio waves. In this way, they effectively screw the material out so that the absorbed liquid oozes out of the pores. The stronger the signal, the greater the amount of liquid that has been screwed out. However, once the signal stops, the skin returns to its absorption mode.
The upcoming tests will involve loading materials with liquids such as antibiotics, lubricants and alcohol. Wound dressings that incorporate the technology could be completed by 2025. There are also plans to build a prototype robot that keeps cool by sweating, although it may take longer to develop.
In the video below, the yellow coating of the skin can be seen responding to the radio signal, releasing the colorless liquid into the water in the beaker. When the liquid is released, the chemical reaction turns the water red.
Recently, scientists published a paper on the study in the journal Matter.