This section includes technologies like nano machines, programmable and meta materials and advanced 3D printing.
Programmable matter is matter which has the ability to change its physical properties (shape, density, moduli, conductivity, optical properties, etc.) in a programmable fashion, based upon user input or autonomous sensing. Programmable matter is thus linked to the concept of a material which inherently has the ability to perform information processing.
Metamaterials (from the Greek word "meta-", μετά- meaning "beyond") are materials engineered to have properties that have not yet been found in nature. They are made from assemblies of multiple elements fashioned from composite materials such as metals or plastics. The materials are usually arranged in repeating patterns, at scales that are smaller than the wavelengths of the phenomena they influence. Metamaterials derive their properties not from the properties of the base materials, but from their newly designed structures. Their precise shape, geometry, size, orientation and arrangement gives them their smart properties capable of manipulating electromagnetic waves: by blocking, absorbing, enhancing, bending waves, to achieve benefits that go beyond what is possible with conventional materials.
A molecular machine, or nanomachine, is any discrete number of molecular components that produce quasi-mechanical movements (output) in response to specific stimuli (input). The expression is often more generally applied to molecules that simply mimic functions that occur at the macroscopic level. The term is also common in nanotechnology where a number of highly complex molecular machines have been proposed that are aimed at the goal of constructing a molecular assembler. Molecular machines can be divided into two broad categories: synthetic and biological.
Synthetic biology is an interdisciplinary branch of biology and engineering. The subject combines various disciplines from within these domains, such as biotechnology, evolutionary biology, molecular biology, systems biology, biophysics, computer engineering, and genetic engineering. As usage of the term has expanded to many interdisciplinary fields, synthetic biology has been recently defined as the artificial design and engineering of biological systems and living organisms for purposes of improving applications for industry or biological research.
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