TechTalk – Mechanomaterials: Connecting Mechanics to Materials Innovations and Challenges

The classical subjects of solid mechanics, structural mechanics and mechanics of materials have played important roles in helping develop structural and functional materials, giving rise to recent advances in nanostructured materials, biomedical materials, mechanical metamaterials, soft actuators, flexible electronics, tunable mechanochromics, regenerative mechanomedicine, etc. While these classical subjects often focus on passive access to mechanical properties of materials in existing forms, a paradigm shift, referred to as mechanomaterials, is emerging toward proactive programming of materials’ properties and functionalities during the manufacturing process by leveraging the force–geometry–property relationships. Here, we provide a couple of examples that illustrate this emerging paradigm, which include overcoming some of the long-standing or recent challenges in the developments of fatigue-resistant metals, mechanics-guided shape morphing electronics, strong and switchable adhesives, epicardial patches for the treatment of heart attack and membrane-active nanomedicine.