4D printing works the same as 3D printing, the only difference is that the printing material allows the object to change shape based on environmental factors.
In this case, the bots’ hydrogel material allows them to morph into different shapes when they encounter a change in pH levels — and cancer cells, as it happens, are usually more acidic than normal cells.
The microrobots were then placed in an iron oxide solution, to give them a magnetic charge.
This combination of shape-shifting and magnetism means the bots could become assassins for cancer — destroying tumors without the usual collateral damage on the rest of the body.
A school of fish-y microbots could one day swim through your veins and deliver medicine to precise locations in your body — and cancer patients may be the first people to benefit from this revolution in nanotechnology.
How it works: Scientists recently printed teeny tiny microbots in the shape of different animals, like fish, crabs, and even butterflies. But the coolest thing with these bots is that they don’t stay in one shape — they can morph into different shapes because they are 4D-printed.
No, it’s not from a science fiction movie or from an episode of a popular kid’s television show. It’s real life. Researchers, in a proof-of-concept study, have made fish-shaped microrobots that are guided with magnets to cancer cells, where a pH change triggers them to open their mouths and release their chemotherapy cargo.
Scientists have previously made microscale (smaller than 100 µm) robots that can manipulate tiny objects, but most can’t change their shapes to perform complex tasks, such as releasing drugs. Some groups have made 4D-printed objects (3D-printed devices that change shape in response to certain stimuli), but they typically perform only simple actions, and their motion can’t be controlled remotely.
In a step toward biomedical applications for these devices, Jiawen Li, Li Zhang, Dong Wu and colleagues wanted to develop shape-morphing microrobots that could be guided by magnets to specific sites to deliver treatments. Because tumors exist in acidic microenvironments, the team decided to make the microrobots change shape in response to lowered pH.
What is 4D printing technology?
Four-dimensional (4D) printing can create complex 3D geometries that react to environmental stimuli, opening new design opportunities in materials science. A vast majority of 4D printing approaches use polymer materials, which limit the operational temperature during the process of engineering. In a recent study, Xiaolong Chen and co- workers at the Dyson School of Design and Engineering, Department of Earth Science and Engineering and Department of Materials at the Imperial College of London, U.K., developed a new multi-metal electrochemical 3D printer. The device was able to construct bimetallic geometries by selectively depositing different metals with temperature-responsive behavior programmed into the printed structure. In the study, they demonstrated a meniscus confined electrochemical 3D printing approach using a multi-print head design and nickel and copper materials as examples, the ability can be transferred to other deposition solutions. The results are now published in Scientific Reports.
Forget about 3D printing, the future is 4D printing creates shapes that can assemble themselves into predetermined 3D structures. The structures are made of plastic and smart memory materials that morph into different shapes. Discover more about this amazing technology in A Week in Science by RiAus.
Glad Intel is moving this dial on their side as I have said for over a year they must do this to remain relevant. I would also encourage them to enter into a large 3D/4D printer partnership to develop a high speed printer that can print diamoide particles as they will need this bi-product to ensure stability in their chips and any other QC data storage and transfer processing. I do say they will need a group focused on Quantum Bio R&D as we begin to progress more of a integrated tech-bio system approach.
Intel realizes there will be a post-Moore’s Law era and is already investing in technologies to drive computing beyond today’s PCs and servers.
The chipmaker is “investing heavily” in quantum and neuromorphic computing, said Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, during a question-and-answer session at the company’s investor day on Thursday.
“We are investing in those edge type things that are way out there,” Krzanich said.
Syn Diamonds is a field that I have been educating many on the importance of in areas of QC, healthcare/ medical, and now we’re looking at transportation such as driverless cars. I told folks if we could have a joint venture with Intel and HP in this space; we could see these to companies re-emerge as leaders again just for this one area of technology. Who ever comes up with the 3D or 4D printer that can mass produce the quality we need in syn diamond materials in various scales/ sizes will dominate and make billions as this technology is a core piece to QC.
Lab-grown red diamonds with an atomic defect could one day replace GPS systems thanks to their remarkable sensitivity to magnetic waves, scientists have suggested.
A team at Element Six, a tech company based in Oxfordshire, are exploring the remarkable properties of crystals with a so-called ‘nitrogen vacancy defect’ — a gap in the atomic lattice at the heart of the diamond.
Improving Synbio through 4D.
A topical review in Biofabrication examines the potential of 4D bioprinting for creating biostructures with controllable motion.
Soon, we see Legos that self assemble from 4D printers, printers that can recycle robots & devices and produce a more improved robot and/ or devices. The days of manually working on equipment, autos, etc. will be gone except for the eccentric hobbyist.
Open-source hardware could democratize the future of robots.
If I have a very robust and sophisticated 3D/ 4D printer to make my own clothing, accessories, household furnishings plus another option in my printer/s to make dishware, household accessories, etc. Why would I ever need a Macys, Bed-Bath, etc. as well as Amazon for that matter for clothing, etc. Hmmm, and retail was already worried over Amazon and Aliexpress, etc.
We’ve followed Nervous System for two years now, with their stunning introduction of 4D printed apparel. Based in Somerville, MA, the design team has since offered numerous projects to the world, featuring their 3D printed Kinematics dress on more than one instance from the first one now permanently ensconced in MOMA to debuting their last in a Sydney Museum. And while we’ve reported on the innovation of their adaptive materials along with an overview of their construction in collaboration with Shapeways, now we are allowed to take a more comprehensive look from the present, as others look much further into the future.
Dutch TV channel NPO gave their viewers a thorough view at how the Kinematics dress is made, from the scanning process to the next step which is to choose the material and shape of the clothing, and then on to the actual 3D printing. You’ll see that the hosts are very excited about the process, and while unless you speak Dutch, you won’t understand a word, it’s easy to understand what’s going on and why everyone is so enthusiastic. The episode came about as both the Nervous System team and Shapeways came together again, and actually created a whole new Kinematic Petals Dress for the special.
As they highlighted the world of high-tech in ‘Netherlands in 2050,’ the hosts truly did bring the dress to life as rather than just explaining what happens, they showed us, with host Rachel Rosier enjoying the process firsthand at the Shapeways’ facility in Eindhoven. Keep in mind, again, that these dresses are in demand for the permanent collections of museums.