This photo shows the brick-and-mortar pattern of simulated bone and nacre against the backdrop of real nacre found in the inner shell of many molluscs.
Move over nanotubes, there's a new futuristic building material in town and its origins may surprise you.
Developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), human bone is the inspiration behind the latest high-tech composite, which can be made in just a few hours using a 3D printer.
The new material- which is lauded for its durability, low density and environmentally sustainable constituents- gets its strength from its bone-like structure. Real bones have a complex hierarchical structure thanks to their two main building blocks, collagen protein and hydroxyapatite minerals.