Dynamic and Programmable Cellular-Scale Granules Enable Tissue-like Materials

Yin Fang*, Endao Han, Xin Xing Zhang, Yuanwen Jiang, Yiliang Lin, Jiuyun Shi, Jiangbo Wu, Lingyuan Meng, Xiang Gao, Philip J. Griffin, Xianghui Xiao, Hsiu Ming Tsai, Hua Zhou, Xiaobing Zuo, Qing Zhang, Miaoqi Chu, Qingteng Zhang, Ya Gao, Leah K. Roth, Reiner BleherZhiyuan Ma, Zhang Jiang, Jiping Yue, Chien Min Kao, Chin Tu Chen, Andrei Tokmakoff, Jin Wang, Heinrich M. Jaeger, Bozhi Tian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Living tissues contain dense cellular ensembles and extracellular matrices (ECMs). Despite extensive efforts in the biomimetics field to develop ECM-like synthetic polymeric networks, a synthetic tissue-like material that can concurrently mimic the dynamic cellular- and ECM-level behaviors has yet to be achieved. Here, we demonstrate that cellular-scale hydrated starch granules, an underexplored component in materials science, can turn conventional hydrogels into tissue-like materials when composites are formed. The composites display programmability, anisotropy, strain-stiffening, mechanochemistry, and self-healability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)948-964
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • MAP4: Demonstrate
  • X-ray tomography
  • biomimetics
  • composites
  • granular materials
  • hydrogel
  • memory
  • tissue-like
  • ultrasound shear-wave elastography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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