Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Jellyfish-inspired pumps: Researchers investigate next-generation medical and robotic devices

Date:
November 24, 2010
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
To some researchers, the undulations of the simple invertebrate jellyfish hold secrets that may make possible a new generation of tiny pumps for medical applications and soft robotics.

To the causal aquarium visitor, the jellyfish doesn't seem to be a particularly powerful swimmer; compared to a fish, it glides slowly and peacefully.

But for Janna Nawroth, a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, the undulations of this simple invertebrate hold secrets that may make possible a new generation of tiny pumps for medical applications and soft robotics -- work she describes November 23 at the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) meeting in Long Beach, CA

"Most pumps are made of rigid materials," says Nawroth. "For medical pumps inside the human body, we need flexible pumps because they move fluids in a much gentler way that does not destroy tissues and cells."

Nawroth is working with Caltech engineer John Dabiri, an expert on jellyfish propulsion. His research has shown these cnidarians tend to fall into two categories -- those that produce faster, harder strokes and those that create weaker but more efficient strokes. He has also studied the flows and eddies created by the strokes, which can be characterized by a dimensionless quantity called a Reynolds number.

"We're really lucky," says Nawroth. "The Reynolds numbers we see in the movement of jellyfish of different sizes and ages are in the right range as what we need for medical applications."

As a step towards creating flexible pumps, Nawroth is studying how jellyfish shape and tissue composition adapt to the demands imposed by flow conditions at different Reynolds numbers. Jellyfish at millimeter scales, for example, exploit the small layer of water that adheres to their surface as they move and use it as additional paddle at no extra cost. Further, a clever arrangement of multiple pacemakers within the jellyfish body allow for a reliable yet tunable pumping mechanism.

In the future, Nawroth plans to use this practical understanding to help design a whole spectrum of flexible pumps that are optimized for different tasks and conditions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Jellyfish-inspired pumps: Researchers investigate next-generation medical and robotic devices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123095636.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2010, November 24). Jellyfish-inspired pumps: Researchers investigate next-generation medical and robotic devices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123095636.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Jellyfish-inspired pumps: Researchers investigate next-generation medical and robotic devices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123095636.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) — New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins