Fabric as protective tissue
I have been studying the inner workings of the body since I was a child. As an undergraduate at Stanford University, I had the opportunity to join a research group of an orthopaedic pioneer at Stanford, Professor Dennis Carter. Having read all of Darwin, D'Arcy Thompson and Stephen Jay Gould's work I could get my hands on, working in the lab just fed my appetite to know how cells could be so smart even though they are brainless. I have been extremely fortunate to find stimulating and supportive environments and mentors who enabled me to grow intellectually and to constantly question things, such as Professor Stephan Perren, my mentor at the AO Research Institute in Davos, and Professor Peter Niederer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
The biggest challenge is reducing a big concept to a series of hands on tasks to "reduce the concept to practice". This is the difference between being a visionary and being an inventor. Both are important steps in creating so called "disruptive technologies" that open up new markets.
The material can be manufactured from any material exhibiting gradients of elasticity and toughness, mimicking elastin and collagen. In fact, the material can be tuned for very specific applications, for example in the medical, transport or sports sectors.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of technicaltextile.net.