Mechanical Properties of Plants

August 13, 2012

Professor Lorna Gibson is researching the mechanical properties of plants:  Plants are made up of just 4 basic building blocks (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and pectin - yes, the stuff you use to make jam gel) yet  the different arrangements of these 4 materials in plants gives rise stiffnesses ranging over a factor of 100,000 and strengths ranging over a factor of 1000.  She and colleagues have developed bio-inspired materials.  

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