Bulletproof vests from stem cells?
London: In a first, scientists have discovered a new property in the nuclei of embryonic stem cells that could pave way for wider application of the body`s master cells, including bulletproof vests.
Known as auxeticity, the property may have application as wide-ranging as soundproofing, super-absorbent sponges and bulletproof vests, said the study.
Until now, auxeticity has only been demonstrated in man-made materials and very rarely in nature, such as some species of sponge.
What is auxeticity?
Most materials when stretched will contract. For example, if one pulls on an elastic band, the elastic itself will get thinner.
The opposite is also true: squeeze a material and it will expand. For example, if one squeezes a tennis ball between both hands, the circumference around the ball gets larger.
However, auxeticity has the opposite effect - squeeze it and it will contract, stretch it and it will expand.
This means that auxetic materials act as excellent shock absorbers or sponges, a fact that is being explored for various uses.
"When the stem cell is in the process of transforming into a particular type of cell, its nucleus takes on an auxetic property, allowing it to `sponge up` essential materials from its surrounding," said Kevin Chalut from Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge.
The researchers treated the transitioning cell`s cytoplasm, the fluid surrounding the nucleus, with a coloured dye and found that when they stretched the nucleus, it absorbed the dye, suggesting that it had expanded to become porous.
Auxetic materials are of great interest to material scientists and engineers and this new discovery may provide clues to different methods of manufacture.
The study appeared in the journal Nature Materials.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Dengue cases on the rise in Delhi - Is the govt waiting for another epidemic?
- JNU student accuses fellow PhD scholar and AISA member of rape
- Sukhoi 30MKI posted in Arunachal Pradesh; Kiren Rijiju lauds development
- Olympic medalist PV Sindhu returns to Hyderabad; receives grand welcome
- Twelve-year-old ISIS suicide bomber caught and arrested in Iraq
- Rio Olympics bid farewell as athletes sign-off with a colorful closing ceremony
- Athletes’ Report Card: See how the Indian athletes performed at the 2016 Olympic Games
- Over 400 flights grounded as Tokyo prepares to take a direct hit from typhoon
- Kamal Haasan to be conferred French award
- New laser created from jellyfish proteins