Mechanochemical transduction enables an extraordinary range of physiological processes, including the sense of touch, hearing, balance, muscle contraction, as well as growth and remodeling of tissue and bone. While biology is replete with examples of active materials systems that respond to mechanical stimuli, synthetic analogs in bulk polymers are rare and have limited functionality.
Bone – a mechanically adaptable structural material in living systems.
Photo credit: Eric Brown, Univ. of Illinois. Schematic from Brown et al. Exp. Mech. 42 372 (2002)