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Amoeba-like self-oscillating polymeric fluids with autonomous sol-gel transition:Mr. Michika Onoda (D2), researcher Ryota Tamade, Professor Ryo Yoshida, Department of Material Engineering, and other researchers.

In the field of polymer science, many kinds of polymeric material systems that show a sol-gel transition have been created. However, most systems are unidirectional stimuli-responsive systems that require physical signals such as a change in temperature. Here, we report on the design of a block copolymer solution that undergoes autonomous and periodic sol-gel transition under constant conditions without any on–off switching through external stimuli. The amplitude of this self-oscillation of the viscosity is about 2,000 mPa s. We also demonstrate an intermittent forward motion of a droplet of the polymer solution synchronized with the autonomous sol-gel transition. This polymer solution bears the potential to become the base for a type of slime-like soft robot that can transform its shape kaleidoscopically and move autonomously, which is associated with the living amoeba that moves forward by a repeated sol-gel transition.



Nature Communications: