CareGum stretches, conducts electricity, and heals itself


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Omar Fabian: It’s summer and film director James Cameron has just dropped another scorching hit. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, we find mother-son duo Sarah and John Connor running for their lives, and for the lives of all humankind, with the help of a bad cyborg turned good played by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. There are so many undoubtedly cool visual features to take away from this iconic film. Little known fact: it actually won four Academy awards for its sound and visual effects. But if you ask around, more than likely, you’ll find that the coolest has to be the T-1000: the liquid-metal robot sent from the future to destroy John Connor and ensure victory for our machine overlords.

Alireza Dolatshahi-Pirouz: You have this robot that, it’s not electronic but it’s still a robot and it’s because somehow that material that made it is self-healing and it’s animated in some ways that we couldn’t understand back then.

[OF]: That’s Alireza Dolatshahi-Pirouz, a professor in the Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology at the Technical University of Denmark.

You might remember him from a previous episode of our podcast, where he described how his group is developing stretchy, eco-friendly electronics they describe as “fleco”—

[ADP]: “So flexible and eco, fleco”.

[OF]: Now, they’re back with a new material that stretches, conducts electricity, and perhaps most astoundingly, heals itself—not unlike the T-1000 from Terminator 2, which Dolatshahi-Pirouz admits was the inspiration for his lab-work.

The team calls their new wonder material CareGum.

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