The new work of Noy Cohen’s group paves the way to the design of new swelling induced super-soft polymers!
The fabrication of synthetic materials with unique properties is often inspired by observations from nature. Recent experimental evidence showed that the elastic protein network resilin, which is commonly found in insects, is capable of experiencing a significant softening of several orders of magnitude upon water uptake. We recall that the stiffness of “classical” polymers, such as rubbers, modestly decreases due to swelling.
What are the mechanisms behind the swelling-induced response of the bio-polymer network resilin?
We answer that question in our new work, which was published in the prestigious journal Acta Biomaterialia.