Wrinkle Prediciton

Research by Jörn Dunkel into patterns of ageing

As a surface dries or comes under stress, seemingly abstract formations of wrinkles occur. Researchers at MIT have developed a mathematical equation that can predict the patterns these natural contours will take across curved surfaces.
“If you look at skin, there’s a harder layer of tissue, and underneath is a softer layer, and you see these wrinkling patterns that make fingerprints,” says Jörn Dunkel, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at MIT.

“Could you, in principle, predict these patterns? It’s a complicated system, but there seems to be something generic going on, because you see very similar patterns over a huge range of scales.”
Photo: Norbert Stoop
Scientists are now able to forecast how varying forces and shapes of surfaces determine the shape of the wrinkles – which range from regular hexagon like formations to swirling labyrinths.
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