First papers published in TU Delft’s Open Access Journal Superhero Science and Technology

News - 30 April 2018 - Communication

In the same week as the worldwide release of Avengers: Infinity War, the latest Hollywood superhero film, the first papers and editorial have been published in the new superhero-themed online journal. The papers in Superhero Science and Technology focus on two members of the Avengers - the Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes) and Iron Man (Tony Stark). 

Fish Antifreeze Proteins: Towards Cryopreserving the Winter Soldier

The Winter Soldier or Buck Barnes is a superhero that ‘is able to withstand the biological impairment of cryogenic freezing’. But is it really possible to cryogenically freeze a person, just like the Winter Soldier has been frozen in the superhero comic books and films?
According to Romà Valls-Suris, Maja Mehmedbašić and Ilja Voets from TU Eindhoven, ‘the answer to the successful preservation of a real-life Bucky Barnes may have already been established in the natural world and can be specifically found in marine fish living in icy cold waters’. In their paper “Marine Fish Antifreeze Proteins: the Key Towards Cryopreserving the Winter Soldier”, they describe how fish such as the ocean pout produce antifreeze proteins to lower the freezing point of their blood to survive in cold, icy waters.

3D Printing for Tony Stark and the Iron Man suit

‘The Iron Man suit is one of the most famous inventions in the superhero comic books and Hollywood films,’ state Juha Niittynen and Jukka Pakkanen in the opening line of their paper “Importance of 3D and Inkjet Printing for Tony Stark and the Iron Man suit”. In the paper, they present various 3D and inkjet printing techniques that Tony Stark could use to repair his collection of Iron Man suits, and even quickly build new suits.
According to Niittynen and Pakkanen: ‘Printing methods for the production of both structural and functional parts is becoming an integral approach of not only the prototyping and design of parts but in the establishment of new and sustainable manufacturing approaches.’

Think Super

‘By connecting research to popular culture elements from the superhero genre such as superheroes, supervillains, superpowers, scenes from films or the comic book literature, researchers can engage the general public in their work using a unique approach,’ says Barry W. Fitzgerald, TU Delft researcher, superhero scientist and the editor-in-chief of TU Delft’s Open Access Journal Superhero Science and Technology, in his editorial that has been published in conjunction with the first papers on the Winter Soldier and Iron Man.

Fitzgerald encourages active researchers around the world to submit a paper on their research for review to Superhero Science and Technology for a number of reasons. For instance, he highlights that ‘combining current research with the superhero genre will lead to articles with the potential to reach a large readership demographic. The provision of such articles to the wider community will undoubtedly increase the exposure of your research.’

More information

All articles in the first volume can be found at Superhero Science and Technology Volume 1, No: 1 (2018).

Homepage for the journal:

Contact Barry Fitzgerald:,, and  

Science Information Officer TU Delft Roy Meijer,, +31 6 14015008