Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Researchers at National Taiwan University published a paper outlining how they gold-plated some onion flesh and made it into "muscles."
At first (stay with me here) they wanted to develop an engineered microstructure in artificial muscles for increasing the actuation deformation (the amt a muscle can bend or stretch when triggered).
Low and behold an onion's cell structure and dimensions were similar to what they were making.
Was this found out during lunch--never mind, just wondering.
The onion epidermis--fragile skin beneath the surface--was blocky cells arranged in a tightly packed lattice.
They researchers treated the cells with acid to remove the protein that makes the cell walls rigid and then coated both sides of the layer with gold. When current flowed through the gold, the onion cells bent and stretched--like a muscle!
By making the top and bottom electrodes of different thicknesses, they could control whether the muscle went upwards or downwards.
For fun, they formed two onion muscles into a pair of tweezers and made it pick up a cotton ball!
Now on to seeing what else this talented salad topping can do.