• ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    Renowned faculty, including 6 Nobel Prize winners. This #GivingTuesday, please support UCSB. https://t.co/agtoiiktLc https://t.co/syZNOtEPlP
    1 hour 1 min ago
  • brenucsb twitter avatar
    5. We come from 30 nations, bringing diverse experience to environmental problem solving https://t.co/Onpgk42MDo https://t.co/VS4FDpxe8c
    1 hour 27 min ago
  • brenucsb twitter avatar
    6. Fun comes with the territory: oceans, mountains, sunsets, surf, and Brennies by our side. https://t.co/Onpgk42MDo https://t.co/hGwI0lqloZ
    2 hours 35 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Help us reach our goal on #GivingTuesday! You can make a difference! https://t.co/oo9scrHixj https://t.co/rTh2I7qZZ4
    2 hours 43 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    In just over 14 hours, we're already 80% to our way of our goal! Thanks so much for contributing this #GivingTuesday https://t.co/2My3A4V5DV
    2 hours 45 min ago
  • brenucsb twitter avatar
    Here's to happy Brennies! https://t.co/Onpgk42MDo https://t.co/k76ADWudXU
    3 hours 6 min ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    RT @sandy_robertson: Holiday weekend! Cooking, eating and drinking, hiking... and planning my #GivingTuesday donations. Oh yeah. @ArtsandLe
    3 hours 34 min ago
  • brenucsb twitter avatar
    7. Bren’s latest SERI project (https://t.co/4RIZ7rT8Ib) is working to address #environmentalequity issues. GIVE: https://t.co/Onpgk42MDo
    3 hours 35 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    For all the gifted brains on campus, choosing UCSB is easy. Please support your fellow #Gauchos this #GivingTuesday. https://t.co/njlWVNviL4
    4 hours 30 min ago

NASA Funds UCSB Materials Research

Monday, September 30, 2002 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

The University of California, Santa Barbara is one member of a consortium of research institutions chosen by NASA to develop new generations of materials that could revolutionize civil aviation and space travel. A grant of $3 million a year for up to 10 years will establish the Institute for Biologically Inspired Materials to investigate and design materials that simulate repair mechanisms used by biological organisms to heal wounds.

The institute's mission is to increase fundamental understanding of natural phenomena and translate its findings into new materials that mimic the extraordinary structural and self-repairing properties of biological substances such as bone or sea shells. These biologically inspired materials could adapt to changing conditions and are expected to help make airplanes and spacecraft lighter, stronger and more reliable.

Much of the consortium's work will focus on creating innovative composites of organic and inorganic compounds. "Many of the strongest materials in nature derive their unique properties from such combinations," said Daniel E. Morse, professor of biology and leader of the Santa Barbara team. In bone, for example, fibers of organic collagen provide great strength under tension, while inorganic crystals allow bones to withstand compression. "We try to understand how biology makes a complex material such as a sea shell, and then, rather than imitating that, we try to extract the fundamental principles we see," said Morse. His group already has discovered interesting mechanical properties in sea sponges that make fiberglass needles and use them to construct intricate structures.

In addition to UCSB, other partner members of the institute are Princeton University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Northwestern University, and ICASE, a research institute operated at the NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia. Besides conducting basic research and technology development, the institute will initiate an education and training program in collaboration with the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

The participants met at Princeton University on September 25 for an initial workshop and planning session.

Note: Daniel Morse can be reached at: d_morse@lifesci.ucsb.edu

After reading this article I feel