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Natural materials such as bone, tooth, and nacre are nanocomposites of proteins and minerals with superior strength. Why is the nanometer scale so important to such materials? Can we learn from this to produce superior nanomaterials in the laboratory? These questions motivate the present study where we show that the nanocomposites in nature exhibit a(More)
This study investigated how substrate geometry influences in-vitro tissue formation at length scales much larger than a single cell. Two-millimetre thick hydroxyapatite plates containing circular pores and semi-circular channels of 0.5 mm radius, mimicking osteons and hemi-osteons respectively, were incubated with MC3T3-E1 cells for 4 weeks. The amount and(More)
Collagen fibrils resemble smectic, liquid crystals in being highly ordered axially but relatively disordered laterally. In some connective tissues, x-ray diffraction reveals three-dimensional crystallinity in the molecular packing within fibrils, although the continued presence of diffuse scatter indicates significant underlying disorder. In addition,(More)
Tissue formation is determined by uncountable biochemical signals between cells; in addition, physical parameters have been shown to exhibit significant effects on the level of the single cell. Beyond the cell, however, there is still no quantitative understanding of how geometry affects tissue growth, which is of much significance for bone healing and(More)
Position-resolved small-angle X-ray scattering was used to investigate the nanostructure of the wood cell wall in two softwood species (Norwegian spruce and Scots pine) and two hardwood species (pedunculate oak and copper beech). The tilt angle of the cellulose fibrils in the wood cell wall versus the longitudinal cell axis (microfibril angle) was(More)
Elastic interactions arising from a difference of lattice spacing between two coherent phases can have a strong influence on the phase separation (coarsening) of alloys. If the elastic moduli are different in the two phases, the elastic interactions may accelerate, slow down or even stop the phase separation process. If 1 the material is elastically(More)
Despite its inherent mechanical fragility, silica is widely used as a skeletal material in a great diversity of organisms ranging from diatoms and radiolaria to sponges and higher plants. In addition to their micro- and nanoscale structural regularity, many of these hard tissues form complex hierarchically ordered composites. One such example is found in(More)
Structural materials in nature exhibit remarkable designs with building blocks, often hierarchically arranged from the nanometer to the macroscopic length scales. We report on the structural properties of biosilica observed in the hexactinellid sponge Euplectella sp. Consolidated, nanometer-scaled silica spheres are arranged in well-defined microscopic(More)
Responsive behavior, which is intrinsic to natural systems, is becoming a key requirement for advanced artificial materials and devices, presenting a substantial scientific and engineering challenge. We designed dynamic actuation systems by integrating high-aspect-ratio silicon nanocolumns, either free-standing or substrate-attached, with a hydrogel layer.(More)
Biological materials are often based on simple constituents and grown by the principle of self-assembly under ambient conditions. In particular, biomineralization approaches exploit efficient pathways of inorganic material synthesis. There is still a large gap between the complexity of natural systems and the practical utilization of bioinspired formation(More)