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For more than 15 years, researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas and their collaborators in the U.S., Australia, South Korea and China have fabricated artificial muscles by twisting and coiling carbon nanotube or polymer yarns. When thermally powered, these muscles actuate by contracting their length when heated and returning to their initial length when cooled. Such thermally driven artificial muscles, however, have limitations.

Electrochemically driven carbon nanotube (CNT) muscles provide an alternative approach to meet the growing need for fast, powerful, large-stroke for applications ranging from robotics and heart pumps to morphing clothing.

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