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Inspired by Nature

Nov 19, 2014   |   by Lynn Yarris   |   Berkeley Lab

Berkeley Lab Researchers Extoll the Virtues of Bioinspired Structural Materials in a Scientific Review Gone Viral

Videos on the Internet going viral are a weekly occurrence. Scientific review articles going viral in journals such as Nature are quite rare. “Bioinspired Structural Materials,” a comprehensive review article in Nature Materials that takes an in-depth look at the amazing structural and mechanical characteristics found in natural materials, received thousands of views and downloads in its first week on-line and those numbers continue to grow. The review was written by a team of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists.

“The interest in this paper has been incredible,” says Robert Ritchie, a faculty scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and the senior author of the review along with Antoni Tomsia, also with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division. “We were hoping that our review would provide an inspiration for the current and future generation of scientists to seek breakthroughs in developing novel structural materials using nature’s guidelines. These guidelines can provide us with the scientific principles that will help us develop stronger and tougher structures.”

Ritchie, who holds the H. T. and Jessie Chua Distinguished Professor of Engineering chair at the University of California (UC) Berkeley, is an internationally recognized authority on the mechanical behavior of materials. He and Ulrike Wegst, Associate Professor of Engineering at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, are the review paper’s corresponding authors. Other co-authors, in addition to Ritchie, Tomsia and Wegst, are Hao Bai and Eduardo Saiz.

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