News Release


Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

A Chameleon-inspired Material that Stiffens and Changes Color

video: A video demonstrating how the color and mechanical properties of this new material depend on plastomer morphology. This material relates to a paper that appeared in the 30 March 2018 issue of <i>Science</i>, published by AAAS. The paper, by M. Vatankhah-Varnosfaderani at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, N.C., and colleagues was titled, "Chameleon-like elastomers with molecularly encoded strain-adaptive stiffening and coloration." view more 

Credit: M. Vatankhah-Varnosfaderani <i>et al., Science</i> (2018)

研究人员研发出了一种新型材料,它能模仿皮肤拉紧时的动态属性,并能在这一过程中改变颜色。皮肤能以若干形式保护身体,其中包括为防止损伤而快速变硬。在诸如变色龙等动物中,当其从轻松状态进入受激状态时,其皮肤甚至会改变颜色。然而,将这两种能力(拉紧及颜色改变)合并至单一人造材料之中仍颇具挑战性。Mohammad Vatankhah-Varnosfaderani和同事在此寻求构建一种基于聚合物的材料,它能模仿皮肤中的造成皮肤绷紧的蛋白:胶原蛋白和弹性蛋白。在皮肤中,一个由僵硬胶原纤维组成的支架可抵抗变形,而由弹性蛋白组成的交织网络可确保皮肤回缩至其原来的形状。为了研发这一功能的人造版本,研究人员研制出了一类“洗瓶刷”聚合物,它显示了带有侧链的线形脊干。在被推挤到一起时,该聚合物脊干会形成软性基质,而柔韧的线性支链则会变得僵硬。据作者报告,这一组合产生了一种既柔韧又刚性和既僵硬又柔软的材料。此外,聚合物侧链间距离的这些改变会影响光线如何从该材料上被反射,这意味着该材料会在拉长状态向蓝色转变,在受到压缩时则会向红色转变。


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