4 May '18
An international research team led by material sciences expert Dmitry Ivanov at the Moscow Lomonosov State University (MSU) has developed what they claim is a synthetic analog of chameleon skin which can smartly react to mechanical impact by changing its strength and toughness, as well as color.
At the core of the development are what chemists refer to as co-polymers—polymers that consist of several different parts.
The new polymers are said to possess the property of molecular self-organization; in certain conditions the system is capable of assembling itself, using macromolecules as the fundamental “bricks”, into a complex hierarchy structure that may have properties which differ dramatically from those of the “bricks” in a disorganized state. Thus the nanodimensional particles turn into material with strictly given properties.
The novel material suggests a wide range of applications, of which using it in medicine to make bioimplants appears the most promising, the developers think. The material can not only emulate the way the living tissue deforms, but also, through the phenomenon of light diffraction, play with their colors—an optical effect. Most importantly, the material appears to evolve as a pioneer among materials in emulating the ability of the living tissue to respond differently to different mechanical load/impact.