On July 12, 2019, the research called sheath-run artificial muscles, or SRAMs, was introduced in the front cover of the journal Science. It was invented by professor Kim Seon-jeong, the Director of CRI Center for Self- Powered Actuation in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Q. How do you feel about your research being shared on the ‘Science’ magazine on July 12, 2019?
A. Since I have shared my research work about artificial muscles five times already on ‘Science’ magazine, I don’t feel like it's the first time. It is more like harvesting after planting seeds.
Q. What was the procedure of your research work?
A. I worked on my research with researchers from different countries such as the US, Australia, and others. Some research teams mainly focused on the field of electronic chemistry. In Korea, however, we focused more on biological engineering in order to use it to applied medicals.
Q. When collaborating with other researchers from different countries, what are some advantages and disadvantages?
A. We regularly have a Skype meeting once a week to share ideas and data from experiments. To find out its mechanism, it is good to share and discuss regularly. A disadvantage would be the time difference and distance. For instance, Australia is not a problem, but the US and Korea have time difference so when I wake up and wish to discuss an idea, the researcher in the US is sleeping. It would have been definitely better if we were at a place without time differences, but to be realistic it is not possible.
Q. What struggles did you go through?
A. I think it is always difficult to commercialize and increase the efficiency.
Q. Have you ever considered using different materials for the artificial muscles?
A. To commercialize, I have considered using bamboo and nylon for the artificial muscles.
Q. Do you have any goals you pursue through the research work?
A. I hope this research to be used in a lot of industry fields such as soft robot and applied medicals. For now, we can think of applying it to a t-shirt made of artificial muscles which generates electricity by inhale and exhale so that we can charge batteries on mobile phone.
Q. Do you have a role model or someone you admire?
A. I personally don’t have anyone whom I admire. Instead I believe in a philosophy like our university’s moto: ‘Act of Love’ as well as ‘Diligence and Integrity’. Also, I prefer cooperating with other students.
Q. What would you like to say to the Hanyang University students who wish to become a researcher like you in the future?
A. I would like to tell the students to challenge things that you are interested in. If you were to research only for the money, you won’t feel content doing your work.