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Falk Esser Wins Second Place in the International Bionic Award
The livMatS member receives the prize for a bio-inspired pump that mimics the movement of the human esophagus.
Dr. Falk Esser from the Plant Biomechanics Group and the cluster "Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems" (livMatS) of the University of Freiburg has won second place in the International Bionic Award 2020. The prize is awarded by the Schauenburg Foundation and the Association of German Engineers (VDI). Esser receives the prize for the development of a bio-inspired pump that mimics the peristaltic movement of the human esophagus. It could replace conventional coolant pumps, for example in electric vehicles, and represents a lightweight and flexible alternative to them.
The developed pump is made of flexible silicone and has several pneumatic chambers. When these are filled with compressed air individually and according to a specific pattern, an undulating peristaltic movement is created, similar to the contraction of the muscles of the esophagus. The pump can thus transport up to 300 liters of fluid per hour.
The International Bionic Award has been endowed by the Schauenburg Foundation since 2008. It aims to promote practice-oriented research results and development work as well as innovations of young researchers in the field of bionics.