Nature´s puncture-resistant flexible composites: Design lessons from cartilaginous fish skeletons
Nature attains impressive material properties with a comparatively simple palette of ingredients, assembled at low temperatures. The structures and growth processes of natural systems, however, are often too complex to mimic, making extraction of design principles difficult. Our Human Frontier Science Program project investigates the skeletons of sharks and rays, composites with unique material properties and a tiled structure particularly amenable to modeling.
The research team represents a diversity of backgrounds and expertises, ranging from biology and biomaterials science (MPIKG), to high-resolution imaging, fracture mechanics, and physical modeling (Wyss), to computer science and visualization (ZIB). The rich mix of approaches allow us to illuminate design constraints for a poorly understood, but phylogenetically old, skeletal alternative to bone, but also to query productive interaction spaces between biology and engineering sciences.
Although all team members are involved in all ongoing studies supported by the HFSP, each sub-project is led by a different research team/institution; click the links to the left for more information on each sub-project: