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Cornell University
LASSP -  Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics

Cornell Laboratory for Atomic and Solid State Physics

Itai Cohen contributes to the development of programmable 2D transformable synthetic tissue.

A group led by Rob Shepherd, assistant professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is using the cephalopod as inspiration for a method to morph flat surfaces into three-dimensional ones on demand.

Shepherd has teamed up with Itai Cohen, professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, and former postdoctoral researcher James Pikul, to devise a method for precisely transforming stretchable 2-D objects into 3-D shapes. Their method involves the use of rigid mesh, laser cut in a way that, when attached to a stretchable material, would constrain the material to form targeted shapes when inflated.

The group’s paper, “Stretchable Surfaces with Programmable Texture Morphing for Synthetic Camouflaging Skins,” will be published Oct. 13 in Science. Pikul, who did his research at Cornell under Shepherd and Cohen, is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania.