Work at North Carolina State University has developed a hydro gel that can be stiffened, and then "patterned, folded and used to manipulate objects," according to a report by the Asian News Institute. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh say their computer modeling of a hydrogel that recoils and moves away from light sources draws on physics, chemistry and biology using a hydrogel first produced in 2007. Both developments could have implications for soft robotics and medical devices, say experts.

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