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Top Story

Technique for calculating elasticity could aid design of new materials

Polymers, or long chains of repeating molecules, are found in many objects that we encounter every day, including anything made of plastic or rubber. In many materials, however, a significant fraction of these chains bind to themselves, forming defects. By coming up with a way to measure these structural defects, MIT researchers have now shown that they can accurately calculate the elasticity of polymer networks such as hydrogels. This theory could make it much easier for scientists to design materials with a specific elasticity, which is now more of a trial-and-error process.

Visit Website | Image credit: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT