From Nature to Engineering: Bio-mimetic and Bio-inspired Materials
David Kisailus, University of California at Riverside
There is a growing need for the development of new light-weight structural materials with high strength and durability that are low-cost and recyclable. Nature has evolved efficient strategies, exemplified in the crystallized tissues of numerous species, to synthesize materials that often exhibit exceptional mechanical properties. These biological systems demonstrate the ability to control nano- and microstructural features that significantly improve the mechanical performance of otherwise brittle materials. In this work, we investigate a variety of organisms, specifically, the hyper-mineralized combative dactyl club of the stomatopods (Figure 1), a group of highly aggressive marine crustaceans, and the heavily crystallized radular teeth (Figure 2) of the chitons, a group of elongated mollusks that graze on hard substrates for algae[2,3]. In addition, we will discuss developments in a bioluminescent and ultrahard mollusk.
From the investigation of structure-property relationships in these unique organisms using modern chemical, morphological, and mechanical characterization techniques, we are now developing and fabricating cost-effective and environmentally friendly engineering composites with impact resistance and biologically inspired nanomaterials for energy conversion and storage.
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