Biomimetic Prosthetic Hand Enabled by Liquid Crystal Elastomer Tendons. Journal Article uri icon



  • As one of the most important prosthetic implants for amputees, current commercially available prosthetic hands are still too bulky, heavy, expensive, complex and inefficient. Here, we present a study that utilizes the artificial tendon to drive the motion of fingers in a biomimetic prosthetic hand. The artificial tendon is realized by combining liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) and liquid metal (LM) heating element. A joule heating-induced temperature increase in the LCE tendon leads to linear contraction, which drives the fingers of the biomimetic prosthetic hand to bend in a way similar to the human hand. The responses of the LCE tendon to joule heating, including temperature increase, contraction strain and contraction stress, are characterized. The strategies of achieving a constant contraction stress in an LCE tendon and accelerating the cooling for faster actuation are also explored. This biomimetic prosthetic hand is demonstrated to be able to perform complex tasks including making different hand gestures, holding objects of different sizes and shapes, and carrying weights. The results can find applications in not only prosthetics, but also robots and soft machines.

publication date

  • June 23, 2021

has restriction

  • gold

Date in CU Experts

  • July 6, 2021 9:39 AM

Full Author List

  • Lu H; Zou Z; Wu X; Shi C; Liu Y; Xiao J

author count

  • 6

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2072-666X

Additional Document Info


  • 12


  • 7