Color-Changing Blast Badge
Mimicking the reflective iridescence of a butterfly's wing, investigators at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed a color-changing patch that could be worn on soldiers' helmets and uniforms to indicate the strength of exposure to blasts from explosives in the field. Future studies aim to calibrate the color change to the intensity of exposure to provide an immediate read on the potential harm to the brain and the subsequent need for medical intervention.
The badges are comprised of nanoscale structures, in this case pores and columns, whose make-up preferentially reflects certain wavelengths. Lasers sculpt these tiny shapes into a plastic sheet.
Source: uphs.upenn.eduAdded: 8 April 2011