Advanced Materials

Unexpected Strength and Toughness in Chitosan-Fibroin Laminates Inspired by Insect Cuticle

Authors

  • Javier G. Fernandez,

    1. Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
    2. Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • Donald E. Ingber

    Corresponding author
    1. Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
    2. Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    3. Vascular Biology Program, Departments of Surgery and Pathology, Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
    • Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

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Abstract

A material inspired by natural insect cuticle and composed of chitosan and fibroin is created. The material exhibits the strength of an aluminum alloy at half its weight, while being clear, biocompatible, biodegradable, and micromoldable. The bioinspired laminate exhibits strength and toughness that are ten times greater than the unstructured component blend and twice that of its strongest constituent.

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