Toyoichi Tanaka - Smart Gels
Polymer gels that can expand or contract by up to 1000 times in volume.
According to TECHTALK published by the MIT News Office, "Smart gels or polymer gels are a class of materials that expand or contract when triggered by tiny changes in temperature, light, a solvent or other stimulus."
Polymer gels have the ability to make large but reversible changes in volume allowing for the invention of smart gels that could deliver various agents and materials at specific events for countless purposes. For example, uses for smart gels could include cleaning up oil spills, creating cosmetics adaptable to skin pH, or even serving as miniature artificial valves and muscles.
Toyoichi Tanaka Father of Smart GelsToyoichi Tanaka was born in Nagaoka-city, Japan in 1946. He received his BS in (1968), MS (1970) and DSc (1973) in physics from the University of Tokyo. He joined the MIT physics faculty in 1975. Toyoichi Tanaka married Tomoko Tahira in 1970.
In 1992, Toyoichi Tanaka co-founded GelMed Inc and its sister company, Gel Sciences Inc. He also co-founded Buyo-Buyo, Inc.
Toyoichi Tanaka was the winner of the 38th Toray Science and Technology Prize from the Toray Science Foundation in Japan and the 1994 Inoue Prize for Science. He was awarded the Vinci d'Excellence in France for his work in 1993.