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Bioinspiration

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Physics World

MIT researchers have developed a new type of stent based on kirigami, the Japanese art of folding and cutting paper, which is “designed to improve localized drug delivery for diseases that affect tubular organs such as the oesophagus and bowel,” writes Cynthia Keen for Physics World. “We view these approaches as having the capacity to transform the patient experience by reducing the need to take medications and thereby significantly improving drug adherence,” says Prof. Giovanni Traverso.

Medgadget

MIT researchers have developed a new stent based on kirigami, the Japanese art of cutting and folding paper. The stent “can provide localized drug delivery through needle-like projections that pop out when the stent is extended,” reports Conn Hastings for Medgadget.

Mashable

Mashable reporter Jordan Aaron spotlights how MIT researchers have developed insect-sized drones that can flap their wings over 500 times per second, allowing them to withstand collisions. The drones are “powered by a small actuator, which gives them the ability to flap so fast.”

BBC News

Graduate student Ashley Beckwith speaks with BBC Radio 5 about her work developing a new concept for growing wood in the lab, as part of an effort to supplement traditional forestry methods. "We dedicate a lot of resources to growing whole plants, when all we use really is a very small portion of the plant,” says Beckwith. “So somehow we needed to figure out a more strategic way to reproduce materials that isn't so reliant on the land."

National Public Radio (NPR)

Prof. Kevin Chen speaks with NPR about his work developing a new microdrone inspired by how an insect flaps its wings. “Because our soft power robot is very robust, of course, we can do interesting maneuvers, such as doing a somersault, we can survive collisions, et cetera,” he explains.

WHDH 7

Speaking with WHDH, Prof. Kevin Cheng explains how he was inspired by the agility of insects to create tiny new drones that are acrobatic and resilient. “Think about a scenario, for example, a building collapse with people trapped inside, and what we’re thinking of is sending a swarm of drones into this collapsed building to search for survivors,” says Chen. “That’s something very difficult for traditional drones.”

Boston.com

Writing for Boston.com, Mark Gartsbeyn highlights how MIT researchers have “developed tiny drones that can fly, dodge, and weave like actual insects.”

Gizmodo

MIT researchers have developed tiny, agile drones with insect-like wings, reports John Biggs for Gizmodo. “The goal is to use these tiny, soft drones to explore close spaces where rigid drones will break on contact with hard surfaces,” writes Biggs.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights how MIT researchers have designed insect-sized drones that can withstand collisions. Heater notes that potential applications for the new drones include everything from “simple inspections currently being handled by larger models to pollination and search and rescue.”

Wired

Writing for Wired, Keith Gillogly spotlights how MIT researchers have devised a new technique that could lead to the development of lab-grown wood and other biomaterials. “The hope is that, if this becomes a developed process for producing plant materials, you could alleviate some of [the] pressures on our agricultural lands. And with those reduced pressures, hopefully we can allow more spaces to remain wild and more forests to remain in place,” says graduate student Ashley Beckwith,

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Kristin Toussaint writes about how MIT researchers have developed a new technique for growing wood-like plant tissues in the lab. The work, they say, is still in its very early stages, but provides a starting point to a new way of producing biomaterials. “It’s a process that eventually could help accelerate our shift away from plastics and other materials that end up in landfill toward materials that can biodegrade,” writes Toussaint.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Darrell Etherington writes that MIT researchers have developed a new method for growing plant tissues in a lab. “Potential applications of lab-grown plant material are significant,” writes Etherington, “and include possibilities in both agriculture and in construction materials.”

Popular Mechanics

MIT researchers have found that mechanical training could be used to produce synthetic hydrogels that perform more like human muscles, reports Sam Spiller for Popular Mechanics. “Stretched and treated to a mechanical workout in a water bath, the [hydrogels] became unyielding and resistant to molecular ruptures,” writes Spiller. “They were able to stay structurally sound despite continuous repetitive movements.”

NBC News

Kate Baggaley of NBC News highlights a team of MIT researchers who have developed a computer model to explain how albatrosses fly so efficiently. “Unlike other birds that flap their wings frequently, the albatross rides the wind,” which researchers are hoping to duplicate as they attempt to create drones that fly by harnessing power from the wind and sun, she explains.

The Washington Post

Ben Guarino of The Washington Post revisits research by Profs. Annette Hosoi and Amos Winter examining how razor claims burrow through sand.  Hosoi and Winter developed a device that “mimics the razor clam's digging ability, allowing an object to secure itself to the sea floor,” and could be used to anchor underwater autonomous vehicles or deposit undersea cables.