Rigid Biological Systems as Models for Synthetic Composites

  title={Rigid Biological Systems as Models for Synthetic Composites},
  author={George Mayer},
  pages={1144 - 1147}
  • G. Mayer
  • Published 18 November 2005
  • Materials Science, Medicine
  • Science
Advances that have been made in understanding the mechanisms underlying the mechanical behavior of a number of biological materials (namely mollusk shells and sponge spicules) are discussed here. Attempts at biomimicry of the structure of a nacreous layer of a mollusk shell have shown reasonable success. However, they have revealed additional issues that must be addressed if new synthetic composite materials that are based on natural systems are to be constructed. Some of the important… 

Topics from this paper

Biological materials: a materials science approach.
Structural biological composites: An overview
Biological materials are complex composites that are hierarchically structured and multifunctional. Their mechanical properties are often outstanding, considering the weak constituents from which
Biomimetic design of materials and biomaterials inspired by the structure of nacre
  • G. Luz, J. Mano
  • Medicine, Biology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2009
The micro-architecture of nacre (mother of pearl) has been classically illustrated as a ‘brick-and-mortar’ arrangement. It is clear now that hierarchical organization and other structural features
The Role of the Organic Component in the Mechanical Behavior of Biomineralized Composites
The roles of minor organic layers in influencing the mechanical response of such biomineralized composites as mollusk shells and sponge spicules have been investigated. The mechanisms whereby such
Bionanotechnology: Lessons from Nature for Better Material Properties
Bomimicry should not be understood as a superficial imitation of the biological systems but rather as the inspiration from the structure-function relationships observed in biological systems to construct new hierarchical structures with improved properties.
Bionanotechnology: Lessons from Nature for Better Material Properties
For millions of years, nature has built hierarchically organized intricate systems with interesting material properties that synthetic materials often fail to replicate. With the advances in
Hierarchical structure, mechanical properties and fabrication of biomimetic biomaterials
Abstract: This chapter investigates the concept of hierarchy widely found in biological materials. First, natural hierarchical materials are explored in terms of their high order structures formed
Natural Composite Systems for Bioinspired Materials.
A better understanding of these composite systems, specifically at the interface of the hetero-assemblies, would encourage faster development of environmentally friendly "green" materials with molecular level specificities.
Tough, Bio-Inspired Hybrid Materials
This work emulates nature's toughening mechanisms by combining two ordinary compounds, aluminum oxide and polymethyl methacrylate, into ice-templated structures whose toughness can be more than 300 times that of their constituents.


Nanostructured artificial nacre
It is demonstrated that both structural features of nacre and bones can be reproduced by sequential deposition of polyelectrolytes and clays, and their nanoscale nature enables elucidation of molecular processes occurring under stress.
Deformation mechanisms in nacre
Nacre (mother-of-pearl) from mollusc shells is a biologically formed lamellar ceramic. The inelastic deformation of this material has been experimentally examined, with a focus on understanding the
Skeleton of Euplectella sp.: Structural Hierarchy from the Nanoscale to the Macroscale
The structural properties of biosilica observed in the hexactinellid sponge Euplectella sp.
Comparison of nacre with other ceramic composites
Mother-of-pearl, the highly filled ceramic composite of mollusc shell, is compared with other, less highly filled, artificial ceramics. Stiffness is fairly simply related to volume fraction of
Model for the robust mechanical behavior of nacre
The inelastic deformation of nacre that leads to its structural robustness has been characterized in a recent experimental study. This article develops a model for the inelastic behavior, measured in
Molecular mechanistic origin of the toughness of natural adhesives, fibres and composites
Natural materials are renowned for their strength and toughness,,,,. Spider dragline silk has a breakage energy per unit weight two orders of magnitude greater than high tensile steel,, and is
Hierarchies in Biomineral Structures
From sea urchin teeth to mammalian bones, the skeletons of organisms often contain several levels of structural hierarchy, designed to resist mechanical damage. In his Perspective, Currey describes
Biomimetic model of a sponge-spicular optical fiber—mechanical properties and structure
Nanomechanical properties, nanohardness and elastic modulus, of an Antarctic sponge Rosella racovitzea were determined by using a vertical indentation system attached to an atomic force microscope.
Macromolecules in mollusc shells and their functions in biomineralization
Mollusc shells are used as a model for studying ‘organic-matrix -mediated’ biomineralization, in which crystals are nucleated and grow in a pre-formed structural framework composed of proteins and