Shape-Remembering 'Wool' for Medical Devices and Smart Clothing
Researchers at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have created a wool-like material that remembers shape and changes form when soaked in water. The biodegradable material might be safely inserted into the human body and can be 3D-printed into a variety of shapes, including clothing or medical device components. To develop the material, the researchers extracted keratin (a naturally-occurring fibrous protein found in hair and nails) from leftover Angora wool used in textile manufacturing. The researchers folded the recycled wool into many different forms and used hydrogen peroxide as a chemical trigger to set the memory of the keratin sheets into shapes.