The EIC INTEGRATE Pathfinder project is off and running!
On 9 and 10 June 2022 the project partners gathered in Fribourg (Switzerland) at the Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI) for in-person meetings and the launch of the four years of research activities to develop novel artificial muscles.
The inspiring kick-off meeting gathered Michael Mayer, Alessandro Ianiro, José A. Berrocal and Catherine Jungo from Fribourg AMI, Remco Tuinier and Catarina Esteves from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Rik Wensink from Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Silvia Giannisi, Daniela Brucoli and Luca Polidori from Veltha, and Francesca Nanni, Mario Bragaglia and Lorenzo Paleari from University of Rome Tor Vergata.
The goal is to develop soft actuating devices fueled by metabolic (biochemical) energy, eliminating the need for external power sources for these devices. Implantable materials based on this technology would be similar to healthy muscles, replacing damaged ones, or they would be built into complex prosthetic devices, and powered by small and non-invasive power units integrated within the body.
The ability to transform energy into controlled motion is one of the most intriguing features of living organisms and has inspired the development of technologies capable of performing mechanical operations. This process led to the use of hard and soft machines as implantable medical devices, for instance peacemakers or prosthetics. However, limitations hinder the fulfilment of the enormous potential of implantable actuating systems. These include the mismatch between mechanical properties and biological tissues, the need for bulky devices to activate them pneumatically, or external power sources.from: AMI researchers earn funding for strong ideas
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