Platelet-matrix Composite Model (IMAGE) Rice University Caption An illustration shows a model platelet-matrix composite in the foreground and nacre, one of nature's toughest materials, in the background. Rice University researchers have developed computer simulations to decode natural materials to guide research into synthetic multifunctional composites. Credit Multiscale Materials Laboratory/Rice University Usage Restrictions For news reporting purposes only. License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.