A polar-bear-inspired material for heat insulation

For polar bears, the insulation provided by their fat, skin, and fur is a matter of survival in the frigid Arctic. For engineers, polar bear hair is a dream template for synthetic materials that might lock in heat just as ...

Researchers can now predict properties of disordered polymers

Thanks to a team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, scientists are able to read patterns on long chains of molecules to understand and predict behavior ...

How to program materials

Ali Gooneie simulates on his computer what holds the world together right at its very core: atoms, molecules, molecular chains and bundles—then lumps and fibers, which emerge from these. With his calculations, the Empa ...

How your clothes influence the air you breathe

Dusan Licina, a tenure-track assistant professor at the Smart Living Lab, EPFL Fribourg, has taken a critical look at how much we really know about our exposure to particles and chemicals transported by our clothing. His ...

Multistep self-assembly opens door to new reconfigurable materials

Self-assembling synthetic materials come together when tiny, uniform building blocks interact and form a structure. However, nature lets materials like proteins of varying size and shape assemble, allowing for complex architectures ...

Turning stem cells into bone with nanoclay-reinforced hydrogel

Assistant Professor Alireza Dolatshahi-Pirouz and colleagues have developed a hydrogel that combines synthetic materials with living cells, and can turn stem cells into bone without adding external growth or differentiation ...

Researchers discover anti-laser masquerading as perfect absorber

Researchers at Duke University have discovered that a perfect absorber of electromagnetic waves they described in a 2017 paper can easily be tweaked into a sort of "time-reversed laser" known as a coherent perfect absorber ...

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