The research group "Calcified Tissue Structure and Mechanics" lead by Himadri Gupta, focused on the micro- and nanometer level design of biomineralized tissues, and their key structure – function relations. Biomineralized tissues like bone are hierarchically structured natural composites, whose molecular level structure of collagen fibrils, noncollageneous proteins, and nanometer thick platelets of inorganic mineral serve as the building blocks in forming organs whose material and structural functions are closely adapted to their function. The origin of this close adaption of structure to function in mineralized tissues, in terms of their micro- and nanostructure, is not fully understood. The group members of "Calcified Tissue Structure and Mechanics" focused on structure-function relations in bone and related mineralized tissues, from the level of single bone lamellae (≈ 5 μm) down to mineralized fibrils and collagen molecules (≈ 1 - 100 nm) in order to uncover natural design techniques. The techniques include microfocus scanning X-ray scattering and diffraction, nanoindentation, in-situ micromechanical testing combined with diffraction or spectroscopy, environmental scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy.
Himadri Gupta is now Lecturer in Biomaterials in the School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary, University of London.