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Press Release 10-171
Cilia Revolution

Man-made, hair-like structures poised to change industry paradigms

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Newly developed artificial cilia respond to changes in heat, electromagnetic radiation and acidity.

Cilia occur on a variety of cells and unicellular organisms in nature. They primarily help collect sensory information, or produce mechanical responses that help single-celled and simple multicellular organisms spontaneously move about. For the first time, researchers have created artificial cilia. These cilia respond to changes in temperature, electromagnetic radiation and acidity by collapsing and fluorescing blue. As the environment changes back to its original state, the cilia go back to their previous state as well.

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation


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