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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Synthetic Muscle Made of Fishing Line is 100 Times Stronger Than the Real Thing

• by William Herkewitz
The newest material used to make artificial muscle can lift more than 100 times more than the meaty stuff you have stuck to your skeleton. It forms a sinewy band that's flexible, dynamic, and can be reused millions of times. No, we're not talking about carbon nanotubes, shape-memory metal, or some hyper-strong liquid alloy. This super-material is ordinary fishing line.

A team of material scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas have just discovered a new way to create powerful artificial muscles—synthetic sinew that forcefully expands and contracts on command—from low-cost, everyday fibers such as fishing line and high-tension sewing thread. In a study published today in the journal Science¸ the researchers described how they're doing it: by twisting the materials into springy and energy-dense coils.

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