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12 news posts in Frontiers in Physics

Featured news

25 Oct 2021

‘Smart bandage’ may help solve a major problem when treating chronic wounds

By Conn Hastings, Science writer A person’s leg wrapped in bandage (not the smart bandage from this research). Image: Nutnaree Saingwongwattana/ Maintaining optimal moisture levels could be key in allowing chronic wounds to heal. However, clinicians currently have no way to check moisture levels without removing a bandage, potentially disrupting the healing process. A new study presents a smart bandage that can measure and wirelessly transmit wound moisture data in real time. The technology could be a useful tool in treating chronic wounds. How can doctors make sure a dressed wound is healing without taking off the bandage? This is a conundrum, because removing a bandage can disrupt the healing process. Technology presented in a new study in open-access journal Frontiers in Physics could help. This new ‘smart bandage’ contains a sensor that can very sensitively measure wound moisture levels and then transmit the data to a nearby smartphone, without requiring doctors to remove the bandage. In the future, by changing the geometry and materials in the bandage, the researchers may be able to fine tune it to suit different types of wounds. The technology could help doctors to monitor wounds more easily and successfully. Chronic wounds can be a […]

Featured news

12 Oct 2021

Shape-shifting worm blob model could inspire future robot swarms

By Mischa Dijkstra, Frontiers science writer ‘Blob’ of Lumbriculus variegatus blackworms. The half-circle to the right is the edge of a petri dish. Image credit: Harry Tuazon Lumbriculus variegatus blackworms can aggregate into ‘blobs’ capable of collective movement. Researchers observed blackworms to model the behavior of individual worms, as well as the formation and movement of blobs. They showed that effective collective movement can only emerge when there is a balance between ‘clinginess’ and independent movement. These results may serve as a model to study other systems with emergent properties, such as nets of biopolymers. Blackworms (Lumbriculus variegatus) are distant relatives of rainworms, measuring up to 10 cm long. They live in shallow marshes, ponds, and swamps in Europe and North America, where they feed on microorganisms and debris. To protect themselves from drought, blackworms can aggregate as entangled, shape-shifting ‘blobs’ composed of a few to hundreds of individuals. Just like swarms of bees, rafts of fire ants, or flocks of starlings, blackworm blobs can show ‘intelligent’ collective movement. Now, scientists show that effective collective movement can only emerge in blackworm blobs when conditions are just right – in particular, when there is a balance between the activity and ‘clinginess’ […]

Life sciences

07 Sep 2015

Researching the problems right in front of us

Frontiers Science Hero: Alex Hansen from Frontiers on Vimeo. Prof. Alex Hansen has always been fascinated with problems. “As you get older you begin to find out that problems are wonderful,” he said. “You do not have to look into the galaxy to look for problems; you can see them right in front of you. I feel, quite literally, down to earth with my field of research.” Prof. Hansen earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1986. He has been professor of physics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway from 1994. Hansen is member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Royal Norwegian Society of Science and Letters and the Norwegian Academy of Technical Sciences. He was awarded an honorary doctorate (Dr. h. c.) by the University of Rennes in 2009. Hansen has chaired the Commission on Computational Physics (C20, of IUPAP) and acts as a vice president for the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. He is also the Field Chief Editor for Frontiers in Physics. Without his curiosity Hansen would not be where he is now. Without curiosity the world would be, in his words, “terrible”. His research and need […]