What is it about?

Biological organs constituted by molecular machines are multifunctional: muscles act, simultaneously as motors, temperature sensor, chemical sensor (muscle fatigue) and mechanical sensor (relative position, movement rate, ..). Using replicating materials of the intracellular matrix (chemical molecular motors, ions and water) we describe here how biological (chemical) multi functionality can be replicate: an artificial muscles (electro-chemo-mechanical) senses while working the trailed mass and the chemical conditions storing a fraction of the involved charge and electrical power as a battery. This charge is recovered during the reverse movement. The three tools work simultaneously in the same device and the full quantitative information (mechanical, sensing and battery) is available, simultaneously at any time, in the two connecting wires.

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Why is it important?

A new technology for the next two centuries will try to replicate living creatures (zoomorphic and anthropomorphic tools and robots) advancing, simultaneously, on the scientific understanding and quantitative theoretical description of biological functions and malfunctions. This way uses materials constituted by multistep (multi electronic) electrochemical molecular machines: conducting polymers, carbon nanotubes, graphenes, and other electroactive organic materials.


our group has developed and theoretically described artificial muscles; sensing and tactile artificial muscles, thermal-chemical and mechanical awareness from chemical reactions and artificial proprioception (bi-functional sensing-actuators). Here we describe a three-functional device where the three working tools are driven by the same polymeric reactions.

Professor Toribio F. Otero
Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Three electrochemical tools (motor-sensor-battery) with energy recovery work simultaneously in a trilayer artificial muscle, Electrochimica Acta, January 2019, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2018.10.077.
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