Today’s Solutions: October 01, 2022

Chitin is found in the cellular walls of many organisms, but it is most famous for making up the exoskeletons of arthropods like crustaceans and insects. It is incredibly effective in protecting these species, so researchers are diving deeper into how it could be adapted to protect humans as well. 

Researchers from the University of Houston are studying how chitin could be synthesized into a bio-based, biodegradable, high-impact coating. They are operating under a grant from the US Department of Defense and hope to develop a printed coating that can protect against projectile impacts, but also lasers, microbes, and poison gas.

Chitin is composed of a long-chain polymer structure held together by acetyl groups, but when the acetyl groups are removed, it becomes the more pliable chitosan, which has wide applications from medicine to agriculture due to its malleable nature. 

The team is using chitosan to 3D print multiple layered materials with specific functions at each layer including hard impact-resistance, energy-absorption, toxic gas absorption, and a textile layer for adhesion.

Although initially designed for military applications, the team says the technology could potentially have wide-ranging benefits for all industries where protective equipment is required. This means employees from automotive to construction industries could soon be protected by innovative shrimp suits.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Five steps for making your clothes last as long as possible

The clothes we wear can make us feel confident and help us express our inner selves. Unfortunately, our culture of fast fashion produces these ...

Read More

Resistance training fights muscle loss. Here are 3 ways to do more of it

We've know for a while that resistance training is key to longevity and health.  In a recent study, researchers found that resistance training was ...

Read More

This composting technique turns food waste into fertilizer in just 24 hours

Composting organic waste is a great way to prevent it from ending up in landfills and releasing methane, a greenhouse gas a lot more ...

Read More

As the weather warms up, here’s how to help animals handle a heatwave

Right now, much of Europe and North America are experiencing ongoing heatwaves with record-breaking temperatures.  It’s not just humans that are struggling to cope. ...

Read More