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Monday, March 27, 2023

How Nature’s Donuts Get Their Wrinkles

• Physics 16, s5

A brand new mannequin explains the wrinkling patterns seen in nature’s donut-shaped objects, equivalent to these present in jellyfish.


Many organic constructions are toroidal, or donut formed. These constructions usually comprise intricate wrinkling patterns that change as the item grows or contracts. Now Fan Xu of Fudan College, China, and his colleagues have developed a principle that may predict when totally different patterns will happen [1]. The researchers say that their principle may help the design of multifunctional materials surfaces primarily based on dynamic wrinkling patterns.

Xu and his colleagues started by devising a mathematical mannequin for a normal toroidal construction. This mannequin has two key parameters: one which characterizes the scale of the construction’s gap and one other that quantifies the construction’s stiffness. The researchers then used this mannequin to derive a scaling regulation that captures how progress or contraction of the construction impacts the patterns on its floor. Lastly, they verified the mannequin’s predictions by performing experiments on toroidal supplies that shrink when cooled or swell when positioned in a sure chemical setting.

The workforce discovered that toroidal constructions with massive holes usually develop floor wrinkles near the outlet, whereas ones with smaller holes are likely to type them away from the outlet. Moreover, comfortable constructions usually have localized dimples, whereas stiff ones have bidirectional stripes or a mix of spiral and axisymmetric stripes. Lastly, moderate-stiffness constructions are usually adorned with periodic hexagonal patterns or a mixture of hexagonal and labyrinth-like patterns. The researchers additionally discovered that their principle can predict wrinkling patterns in some nontoroidal constructions, suggesting that it may very well be utilized to a various vary of objects.

–Ryan Wilkinson

Ryan Wilkinson is a Corresponding Editor for Physics Journal primarily based in Durham, UK.


  1. T. Wang et al., “Curvature-regulated multiphase patterns in tori,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 130, 048201 (2023).

Topic Areas

Organic PhysicsDelicate Matter

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