Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-2514
2000-07-10

Biologically Inspired, Intelligent Muscle Material for Sensing and Responsive Delivery of Countermeasures 2000-01-2514

The design and development of new biologically inspired technologies based on intelligent materials that are capable of sensing the levels of target biomolecules and, if needed, trigger appropriate countermeasures to regulate biological processes and rhythms of the astronauts is being undertaken in our laboratories. This is accomplished by coupling biologically inspired sensors that monitor the levels of the target biomolecules with intelligent polymeric materials that can regulate the release of a countermeasure. The technology developed here integrates sensors and artificial muscle material into a self-regulating device that can perform with minimal crew intervention. Further, it takes advantage of microfabrication technology to construct lightweight and robust responsive delivery systems. These “intelligent” devices address the need for the control and regulation of biological processes and rhythms under spaceflight conditions. It is envisioned that the technology developed could have applications to numerous conditions and diseases in which current responsive delivery approaches either do not exist or require substantial improvement.

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