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Tendril perversions
Zi Chen (GS), Qiaohang Guo, and Mikko Haataja (fac)
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Helical structures are ubiquitous building blocks in nature, from DNA double helix to tendrils and vines of plants. We examine the common mechanism behind the spontaneous helical shapes in natural and synthetic systems, from the tendrils to helical nanoribbons. This image shows the tendrils with perversions separating a left-handed helix and a right-handed helix, due to the preservation of the total twist. Such tendril perversion significantly increases the strength of the coiled tendril, helping the plant gain more robust and resilient support to thrive.