Body Armor Inspired by Lobster Membranes

April
2019

One warm summer evening in Boston, Jinrong Wu, an engineer from China, attended a dinner with some colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was his first trip to the U.S., and he ordered a dish he’d never eaten before — lobster.

As his fellow engineers chattered around him, Wu flipped the lobster on its back and prodded its fleshy abdominal membrane. As a scientist, he was always curious and always questioning. When he tried to bite into the lobster’s underbelly, he was astounded to find he couldn’t. How could something so soft and pliable be so difficult to bite and chew?

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