Hierarchical structure of biological and biomimetic materials
Our aim is to understand the role of structure in biological and biomimetic materials with respect to mechanical properties and biological function at different length scales.
The primary focus of our group is to investigate structural arrangements of cellular, organic and mineral phases in biological tissues to elucidate the mechanisms that govern function and biological design principles in these tissues.
Complementing our understanding on structure-property relationships, we investigate dynamic processes in biological materials such as growth and development. In the case of bone, these processes include mineralization of the organic matrix as it occurs during remodelling and bone healing. To appropriately examine these dynamic processes, we employ high resolution 2D and 3D imaging techniques from material science to characterize the dynamic evolution of the micro- and nano-structure of these tissues.
Our methodology mainly utilizes techniques that span many length scales, notably small- and wide-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS, WAXS), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), nanoindentation (NI) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).