Researchers say this polymer can mimic human muscle in medical devices, robotics

Actuation of ferroelectric polymers driven by Joule heating. Credit: Qing Wang.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University say they developed a new ferroelectric polymer that could convert electrical energy into mechanical strain.

Such a polymer could offer potential for applications in medical devices, advanced robotics and precision positioning systems. The team says that mechanical strain represents an important property for an actuator. Traditionally, these actuator materials were rigid, but soft ones like the ferroelectric polymers offer more flexibility and environmental adaptability.

According to a post on the PSU website, the research showcased the potential for these polymers to overcome the limitations of traditional piezoelectric polymer composites. This could enable soft actuators with enhanced strain performance and mechanical energy density.

“Potentially we can now have a type …

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