Scientists develop muscles from nylon thread and polythene fishing line

Have you ever imagined fiber muscles developed from thread? An international team led by researchers from the University of Texas, Dallas has developed an inexpensive artificial muscle fiber from nylon sewing thread and polyethylene fishing line, giving science its one of the simplest invention.

The creation can be boon for the world as it could successfully replace the much weaker and expensive synthetic muscles produced today. These muscles might be used in robots, prosthetic limbs or in fabrics that expand when the weather is warmer and contract when it is cold outside.

Scientists explain, the fiber muscles are similar to that of humans as they are able to lift at least a 100 times as much as human muscles and have same weight and length.


Lead author Ray Baughman, who works as a chemist at the University of Texas, says, “Simplicity is what makes the beauty of this technology. High-school students inside their own home could make these muscles and use them.”

For developing the artificial muscles, the researchers twisted and curled polymer fishing line and sewing thread. The twists were done with the help of a power drill. The twisted fibers make a synthetic muscle which has the ability to drive a heavy rotor at a rate of around 10,000 revolutions per minute. These muscles can generate about three horsepower per lb, which is equivalent of a jet engine.

These fake muscle fibers can contract to around 50 percent of their size. Earlier synthetic muscles were created from the materials which included carbon nanotubes and also metal wiring. However, these were costly to produce and control.

  • WhatTheFlux

    I’m sure Cyberdyne Systems will be quite interested in this.


    Uh, excuse me, even if we use good body mechanics and ergonomics, will the tensile strength of the bones in the human body be able to handle this kinda stress?2