People of science often make discoveries simply by looking more closely at the natural world. It seems that nature harbors many discoveries that can bring fame and success to inquiring minds and new achievements and opportunities to humankind. Researchers from American Rutgers University have noticed what allows marine animals (cuttlefish, octopus, and squid) to change their skin color depending on the situation.
Scientists managed to isolate this substance and create a new elastic material based on it. It can be printed on a 3D printer and it is able to change its color on command. There are a lot of applications for this material. For example, the military will be happy to use it – the “smart gel” can be used as a universal camouflage, allowing soldiers to be completely invisible to the enemy in all conditions.
The gel is based on light-sensitive nanomaterials. Surprisingly, the gel, consisting of a liquid, is able to retain a certain shape and remain solid for a long time. The new material also has the properties of an “artificial muscle” – the substance contracts in response to changes in light conditions. Scientists see a great future for this development, it will help create flexible and bright displays in the future. Now the engineering team is busy improving the characteristics of the gel, working on increasing light sensitivity.