Your next motorcycle jacket could be fitted with lightweight rider armour designed like fish scales.
A team of Boston University engineering researchers believe fish, snake and even butterfly scales hold the key to creating strong and lightweight armour.
While there is no talk yet of including the armour in motorcycle gear, it would be ideally suited for this purpose as it needs to be both tough and light.
Think about it. Fish scales protect fish and make them watertight while also allowing them to flex and bend to swim. The same goes for snakes.
We had no idea butterflies have scales, but they would no doubt be light!
The researchers have constructed scales with a 3D printer and added them to a soft impact-resistant material to create the armour which has extra structural stiffening.
They claim they can make lightweight armour that has greater protection than current armour. It will be made on 3D printers and with nano-fabrics.
A paper on the work so far has been published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.