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Chinese Researchers Find New Way to Create Artificial Wood

As a kind of biomimetic engineering materials, this new family of bio-inspired polymeric woods is supposed to replace the natural wood when used in harsh environments

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blood tests are part of the World Health Organization's (WHO) list of essential in vitro diagnostic tests for health care facilities with clinical laboratories.
blood tests are part of the World Health Organization's (WHO) list of essential in vitro diagnostic tests for health care facilities with clinical laboratories. Pixabay
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Chinese scientists have developed a new strategy for large-scale fabrication of bio-inspired artificial wood that manifests lightweight and high-strength properties with the mechanical strength comparable to that of natural wood.

A study published on Friday in the journal Science Advances described the high-performance polymeric materials with wood-like cellular microstructures.

A research team led by Yu Shuhong from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) transformed traditional phenolic resin and melamine resin into the artificial wood-like materials by self-assembly and the thermocuring process, Xinhua reported.

Their strategy provided a new route to fabricate and engineer a wide range of high-performance biomimetic engineering composite materials with desirable multiple functions and advantages over the traditional counterparts, having broad potential applications in many technical fields.

Artificial wood
The artificial polymeric woods stand out from other engineering materials such as cellular ceramic materials and aerogels in terms of specific strength. Pixabay

The liquid thermoset resins were firstly “unidirectionally” frozen to prepare a “green body” with the cellular structure, followed by the subsequent thermocuring to get the artificial polymeric woods. They are highly controllable in the pore size and wall thickness.

Starting from aqueous solution, the strategy also represented a green approach to prepare multifunctional artificial woods by compositing various nanomaterials, such as cellulose nanofibers and graphene oxide, according to the study.

Compared with natural woods, the artificial woods have better corrosion resistance to water and acid with no decrease in mechanical properties. They also have better thermal insulation and fire retardancy.

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The artificial polymeric woods stand out from other engineering materials such as cellular ceramic materials and aerogels in terms of specific strength and thermal insulation properties.

As a kind of biomimetic engineering materials, this new family of bio-inspired polymeric woods is supposed to replace the natural wood when used in harsh environments, Yu said. (IANS)

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Chinese Scientists create ‘Intellectual Suit’ for Wireless Detection and Monitoring of Health Indicators

The suit, via wireless transmission, can send signals to a cellphone, a computer, or even to a doctor's computer a thousand miles away, so a person's health can be monitored anytime and anywhere

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intellectual suit
A new wireless body suit designed by Chinese scientists may be able to monitor temperature, ph level and other health indicators and send the details to mobile devices. Will that mean an end to physical visits to the doctor? Pixabay

Beijing, October 24, 2017 : A group of Chinese scientists have developed an intellectual suit which are fitted with large-area textile sensors that can detect temperature, ph levels, pressure and other indicators showing the health status of a person.

At the third International Conference on Nanoenergy and Nanosystems in Beijing, Wang Zhonglin, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduced the invention, reports Xinhua news agency.

The intellectual suit, via wireless transmission, can send signals to a cellphone, a computer, or even to a doctor’s computer a thousand miles away, so a person’s health can be monitored anytime and anywhere, said Wang.

The conference, organised by the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, is one of the most influential in the field of nanoscience and energy.

This year it focused on topics such as nanogenerators, self-powered sensors and systems, piezotronics, piezophototronics, energy storage and self-charging power systems. Over 700 scientists from more than 30 countries attended the conference that ended on Monday.

Wang also mentioned “nano tattoos”. These stickers on the arm, which can be shaped as a pattern much like a tattoo, will be able to administer drugs into a patient’s veins, providing a private and painless way of injection for diabetics.

“Scientists have made prototypes of all these gadgets at the institute’s technopark. They are expected to hit the market in two to three years,” said Wang. (IANS)