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New advance allows gels to wiggle through water

Using a worm's contracting and expanding motion, researchers have designed a way for gels to swim in water. The advance, which is described in a Journal of Applied Polymer Science paper, involves the use of a hand-held laser to shrink and swell polymer gels comprised mostly of water.

"This new method of mobility may allow such hydrogels to be used as environmental and biotechnological tools by allowing them to explore surface waters to combat toxic elements or travel within cavities inside the human body," said co-author Dr. Lilit Yeghiazarian.

Contact: Nicole Weingartner

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