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Algae-Powered Soft Devices Glow in the Dark When Squished or Stretched


The source of the glow is a type of single-celled algae called dinoflagellates.

Because the devices do not need any electronics to light up, they are an excellent choice for developing soft robots that explore the deep sea and other dark areas.

Credit: University of California – San Diego

University of California San Diego researchers have created soft devices containing algae that, when subjected to mechanical stress, such as being squeezed, stretched, twisted, or bent, glow in the dark. The devices are perfect for creating soft robots that explore the deep sea and other dark areas since they do not need any electronics to light up, according to researchers.

The bioluminescent waves that may sometimes be seen at San Diego's beaches during red tide events served as the researchers' inspiration for these gadgets. The senior author of the research, Shengqiang Cai, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, was intrigued to find out more about what creates this stunning display while watching the glowing blue waves with his family one spring night.

From SciTechDaily
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