Plant-Based Spray Could be Used in N95 Masks and Energy Devices

Engineers have invented a way to spray extremely thin wires made of a plant-based material that could be used in N95 mask filters, devices that harvest energy for electricity, and potentially the creation of human organs. The method involves spraying methylcellulose, a renewable plastic material derived from plant cellulose, on 3D-printed and other objects ranging from electronics to plants, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Materials Horizons.

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Energy Harvesting Goes Organic, Gets More Flexible

The race is on to create natural biocompatible piezoelectric materials for energy harvesting, electronic sensing, and stimulating nerves. Researchers decided to explore peptide-based nanotubes, and in the Journal of Applied Physics, they report using a combination of ultraviolet and ozone exposure to generate a wettability difference and an applied field to create horizontally aligned polarization of nanotubes on flexible substrates with interlocking electrodes. The group’s work will enable the use of organic materials more widely.

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