A team of scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a Department of Energy (DOE) office lab managed by the University of California, have used a modified 3D printer to produce liquid droplets imbued with magnetic properties. Their research, published in the Science journal, could potentially lead to the use of 3D printed devices in a variety of useful and groundbreaking applications due to the combined liquid and magnetic qualities. This could include artificial cells that can deliver targeted cancer therapies, or flexible liquid robots that can change their shape to adapt to their surroundings.
Tom Russell, a visiting faculty scientist at the Berkeley Lab and professor of polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, led the study. Russell also leads a program called Adaptive Interfacial Assemblies Towards Structuring Liquids in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, where for the past seven years he has been developing 3D printable all-liquid structures.
“We’ve made a new material that is both liquid and magnetic. No one has ever observed this before,” explained Russell. (source)
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