In Russia, created a chameleon material

MSU scientists led by Sergei Sheiko have developed a new material with unique properties. According to its strength characteristics, it is similar to pig skin and has high flexibility, but its most interesting feature is the ability to change color. The skin of the master of natural camouflage, the chameleon, has the same properties.

The creation of the material is based on the use of elastic triblock copolymers — special compounds consisting of three components. The central part is a fragment of chains with a branched structure. Layers of polymethyl methacrylate are located on both sides of the center. With their help, polymer chains are connected into a single network. Compression and tension leads to a change in the distance between the chains of polymethylmethacrylate, as a result, the color of the material changes.

According to Dmitry Ivanov, one of the developers of synthetic leather, there are a lot of areas for the application of their invention. Already now there is a development of options for introducing the invention into ophthalmology, where it can be used to create intraocular implants. In addition, the properties of "chameleon skin" can find application in developments related to optics.

Until now, there has not been a single synthetic material that could reproduce such a mechanics of living biological tissues. Therefore, our materials may have the most unexpected applications in the future.

- noted Ivanov