Biological material such as bone and muscle tend to have a wide range of elasticity and rigidity that is different from synthetic materials. In general, with synthetic materials, as stiffness increases, elasticity decreases. Biological materials, on the other hand, do not exhibit such a direct relationship. There is much interest in finding materials that mimic biological materials for use as prosthetics and other functions. One such material is the bottlebrush polymer.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Akron, and Carnegie Mellon University sought to outline the available stiffness and extensibility with bottlebrush polymers and suggest a general strategy for fine-tuning three characteristics of the bottlebrush polymer to mimic the mechanical properties of biological tissues. Their letter can be found Nature.