Scientists are increasingly looking at using medication-filled microspheres for targeted drug delivery within the human body. Silicone would
be a particularly good building material for such spheres, as it's
biocompatible, waterproof, and chemically stable. Unfortunately, using
traditional methods, it can't be made into small enough spheres. Now,
however, a new process has allowed for the creation of silicone
microspheres that are about one one-hundredth the size of any previously
Whenever foreign objects such as catheters, implants or other devices are placed within the human body, there's a danger that bacterial colonies known as biofilms could collect on them, leading to infections. Now, however, scientists at Harvard University's Wyss Institute have created a material that's too slippery for those biofilms to cling onto. It works by continuously releasing oil.
Some machines are so perfect, so ingenious and so fit for their purpose that they endure, unchanged, for centuries. Millennia, even. The wheel. The bucket. The knife. The human hand. The hand is one of the crowning evolutionary achievements of our species. Its opposable thumb makes it an incredibly versatile tool, capable of grasping and manipulating complex objects. It’s also super grouse to grab and tug your genitals with, in a manner familiar to teenagers, Gizmag writers and lower primates alike. But that doesn't mean it can't be improved upon. Meet the Handie.
Once upon a time, robots were imagined as human-like machines with a distinct body complete with head, arms, hands, feet, and legs. More recently, designers have explored the benefits of emulating other creatures and their capabilities, with robots that can fly like birds
, run like cheetahs
, swim like a squids
or, in this case, slither like snakes. Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) have come up with a single 3D printed, soft-shelled tentacle that is designed to navigate through all manner of pipes, channels, and burrows.
Having already given us a new take on the humble lunch bag with its Compleat FoodBag
, Norwegian company Unikia set out to redesign the lunch box for its latest offering, the Compleat FoodSkin.
Norwegian company Unikia is looking to update the plain old lunch bag with its Compleat FoodBag, a reusable lunch box that keeps food fresh and protected in transit and rolls up compactly when the meal is over.
Looking for a more effective solution to the all-too-common wobbly table dilemma than a folded up bit of cardboard or piece of rubber under the leg, University of Virginia physicist Lou Bloomfield created a new type of silicone rubber called Vistik – it's malleable enough to take on any shape when pressed, but is still resilient enough to offer support, as it gradually
starts to return to its original shape as the pressure is released. The material could have many applications ... beyond just steadying up wobbly tables.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is best known by the DuPont brand name Teflon. Whatever it is called, PTFE is the third slipperiest solid known – the poster child for non-stick, non-reactive, non-friction, non-conducting, high-temperature, and generally high-performing polymers. Silicone also has a nearly non-bondable surface – if you try to paint a silicone sealant, it simply pops off as the paint dries. In particular, creating a strong bond between PTFE and silicone has never been accomplished, even in the chemical laboratory. Until now.
We're constantly being told to drink lots of fluids, but buying fresh bottled water is expensive and a waste of resources
, and while reusable drink-flasks (or old plastic bottles) can be refilled, they take up space when not in use. The Bübi Bottle offers a simple-yet-elegant solution to the problem - it's scrunchable.
Everywhere you look, items made with or from silicone rubber continue to pop up like mushrooms after a long spring rain. From artificial lungs
to cookie sheets, even baby bottles
, this versatile, non-toxic material is becoming increasingly indispensable in our everyday lives. Now tea kettles can be added to the list of items getting the silicone treatment with the four-cup SlickBoil from Cuissential that takes advantage of silicone's flexibility to shrink to a space-saving package when not preparing a refreshing brew.