|Claußen, K.U.; Scheibel, T.; Schmidt, H.-W.; Giesa, R.: Polymer Gradient Materials: Can nature teach us new tricks?, Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 297(10), 938-957 (2012) -- DOI: 10.1002/mame.201200032|
Nature offers interesting examples of structures with a gradually changing composition that provides unique mechanical properties. Nowadays, the transfer of biological principles to technical applications is gaining researchers interest. One prominent example of the transfer of biomimetic principles to materials science is the mussel byssus. Byssus threads possess gradually changing mechanical properties from soft to stiff in order to efficiently attach the mussel to the rock. This review gives a comprehensive overview of the most recent developments concerning polymer gradient materials and a biomimetic approach to achieve them.