By: Liz Daubenmire
UC Undergraduate’s research on swimming gels is published in a prestigious journal today - Friday, May 30 2014.
Next time you spot an earthworm sliding through fresh dirt, take a closer look. What you’re seeing is an organic movement called peristaltic locomotion that has been meticulously refined by nature.
Jarod Gregory, an undergraduate student in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, used a worm’s contracting and expanding motion to provide a way for gels to swim in water. This is a product of work by the interdisciplinary team consisting of Jarod Gregory, a chemical engineer, and his two advisers, Professor Lilit Yeghiazarian, PhD (environmental engineer) and Professor Vasile Nistor, PhD (biomedical engineer).
Phase one of his research titled, “Remote-Controlled Peristaltic Locomotion in Free-Floating PNIPAM Hydrogels” is published in the Journal of Applied Polymer Science.