Physics of pruney fingers revealed

Wednesday 9 March 2011

An exploration of mathematical shapes could explain why skin gets wrinkled after too much time in the tub. Understanding the geometry of wrinkly skin could help design new materials that can stretch out without losing strength.

The skin’s resilient stretchiness comes from an intricate network of fibrous proteins called keratin, which make up the outermost layer of the skin, as well as hair and nails. Scientists knew that skin’s keratin networks were important, but the arrangement of fibers was uncertain.

Now, Evans and Australian National University colleague Stephen Hyde may have found a solution. They describe their stringy skin model in the March 8 Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

Read more of this article in Wired Science.

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