Artificial Muscles Flex Using Fishing Line and Thread

9:15 minutes

Forget push-ups. The key to superhuman strength can be found in everyday items like sewing thread and fishing line. Through extreme twisting, these polymer fibers can be transformed into artificial muscles a hundred times more powerful than human muscles. Ray Baughman, director of the NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas, details the discovery this week in the journal Science. Plus, here’s how you can make an artificial muscle out of fishing line.

Segment Guests

Ray Baughman

Ray Baughman is director of the NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas, Dallas in Dallas, Texas.

Meet the Producers

About Becky Fogel

Becky Fogel is Science Friday’s production assistant. She would like to build a Rube Goldberg machine that dumps donuts on her desk. But until then, she enjoys working beside her ceramic dinosaur and Drake painting.

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata is Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.