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New “textile muscles” to assist with mobility issue

Jan 26, 2017, 3:55 AM EST
(Source: GreenFlames09/flickr)
(Source: GreenFlames09/flickr)

A team of researchers in Sweden has developed artificial, external muscles that move in response to electrical signals, a technology that can be used to craft soft exoskeletons for helping those who suffer from impaired mobility. The textile, fabricated from cellulose yarn, is knitted and woven into a structure that mimics the strength and flexibility of natural muscle fibers.

Study author Edwin Jager, an applied physicist at Linköping University, says the new textile can be a softer and more comfortable alternative to motor-driven, rigid exoskeletons being used by people with limited mobility, writes ResearchGate.

Xing Fan, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Chongqing University in China, hailed the development as an “interesting” step towards making commercially viable soft exoskeletons while adding that the fabric still needs refinement, notes Live Science.

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