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Caltech and Harvard Bioengineers Explain Artificial Jellyfish Research

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Published on Jul 23, 2012

Learning from the Jellyfish: Squishy pumps for biomedical and engineering applications

Most people know jellyfish as a painful nuisance, a beautiful aquarium exhibit or--less commonly--in the form of a marinated snack. Now a team of researchers at Caltech and Harvard University have taken yet another perspective on this simple invertebrate; for them, it constitutes nature's prototype of a flexible, muscle-powered pump that could be used for medicalapplications and soft robotics. Graduate student Janna Nawroth worked with John Dabiri, professor of aeronautics and bioengineering at Caltech, and Kit Parker, Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at Harvard, to elucidate how the jellyfish body creates flows and eddies useful for pumping, propulsion, and feeding. In this video, the teamexplains how and why they developed a technology that turns silicone rubber and lab-grown muscle tissue into jellyfish-like fluid pumps and swimmers--advancing the design of muscular pumps for biomedical applications.

Video by Janna Nawroth
Produced by Caltech and Harvard University

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