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Keywords:

  • hydrogen bonds;
  • mechanical properties;
  • nanostructures;
  • polymers;
  • stimulus-responsive nanocomposites
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

An inspired design: A new class of nanocomposites can reversibly switch its mechanical stiffness by up to three orders of magnitude in response to its environment. The architecture of the material is inspired by the dermis of the sea cucumber (see pictures), and the mechanically adaptable composites are potentially suitable for use in biomedical applications.