Cellulose that stiffens and softens

By Ewen Callaway, 15:58 PM April 15, 2008

A new material inspired by the skin of sea cucumbers goes from firm to flabby in minutes. The substance could find wide use in medicine—including as brain implants.

Sea cucumbers tense up in seconds by linking the collagen fibers of their skin into a stiff net. Releasing the connections between the fibers causes the echinoderms to go soft.

To make a material with similar properties, polymer scientist Christoph Weder of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, bonded cellulose "whisk...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/cellulose-stiffens-and-softens