Micro-Origami Uses Cells to Fold Itself, University of Tokyo Study

Published: Dec 19, 2012

Even the most skilled origami practitioners would struggle with microscopic folds. But now Shoji Takeuchi of the University of Tokyo, Japan, and colleagues have created sheets that harness the traction force of cells to fold themselves into a variety of shapes. The team created flat origami designs by cutting thin plastic sheets. Then they grew cells that crossed the seams of the tiny plates. The first clips in this video use animal connective tissue cells, which typically help wounds heal, to make the patterns bend when nudged. But in later examples, the flexible joints fold automatically when rat heart cells are used.

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