Abscission and self-repair in biological and artificial materials systems
The integration of programmable elements based on molecular and mesoscopic design allows us to introduce conditional behavior into materials systems. With these concepts of novel materials systems, it is possible to draw inspiration from complex functionalities that today only exist in natural systems.
For example, plants can adapt to changing environmental conditions through a magnitude of functional principles. Their capability to deal with injury, so that viral functions are maintained even in the event of severe damage, secures their survival in an unpredictable world. Yet, artificial functional systems lack this and other abilities of living systems. Experts from the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, materials science, and mechanics closely collaborate to identify and understand the most relevant biological survival principles. Ultimately, they aim at developing strategies for the transfer and implementation of these principles into technological solutions.