0508 Lessons from nature: design of bioinspired architected materials

  • Mohammad J. Mirzaali, Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, Delft University of
  • Mario Milazzo, Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics (LAMM), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusett
  • Flavia Libonati, Department of Mechanical, Energy, Management and Transportation Engineering (DIME) Polytechnic School - University of Ge
  • Davide Ruffoni, Mechanics of Biological and Bioinspired Materials Laboratory, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Univer
  • Amir A. Zadpoor, Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, Delft University of

The increasing number of manufacturing approaches and the rising pressure from economic and environmental constraints have made clear that the development of novel materials with improved mechanical properties and multiple functionalities can no longer rely only on conventional manufacturing routes. By looking at different biological materials such as enamel, bone, wood, arthropod cuticle, and seashells, we have learned that nature uses only a few building blocks to generate environmentally friendly and durable materials with remarkable properties, while enabling multiple functionalities. One of the key-design principles of biological materials is the arrangement of their basic constituents into highly complex multi-scale internal architectures, complemented by a tight control over the interfaces between the different building blocks. By tuning selected properties at different length scales, biological materials are able to combine conflicting requirements (e.g., stiffness and toughness) much more efficiently than engineered materials. The internal architectures of biological materials are never monolithic and display, depending on the length scale, diverse structural features (e.g., struts and pores, fibers and sheets) enriched by functional gradients as well as by a hierarchical combination of hard elements (e.g., minerals) and soft connecting layers (e.g., proteins) arranged in (semi-)random or ordered (e.g., bricks-and-mortar or mechanical interlocking) fashion. By adapting the arrangement of such wide variety of structural motifs, most of which are very common in nature, biological materials have enhanced lightweight, fracture resistance, and energy absorption properties. For these reasons, natural materials are considered an ideal source of inspiration for developing next-generation architected engineering materials, providing guidelines to advance materials design.
The computational design has had a key role to unravel mechanisms occurring in biological structures and accelerate the material design phase. Thus far, significant progress has been attained by bridging the atomic description of materials and continuum-level structural analysis. Today, considering the sophisticated architectures, the heterogeneous nature of these materials, their hierarchical organizations, and their complex functional gradient designs both in the chemical composition and geometry, particularly at the internal interfaces, new challenges arise in computational design to capture mechanisms occurring across scales typically using multiscale approaches. Advance computational models can be used for the design, optimization and fabrication of next-generation (bioinspired) architected materials with tunable properties and functionalities.
This mini-symposium aims to gather the expertise of emerging and established researchers investigating architected materials in nature and engineering. Particularly, we welcome studies covering various aspects of architected materials such as (but not limited to): bioinspired/biomimetic materials, functionally graded materials, cellular structures with random or ordered unit cells, the use of architected materials to design bioinspired interfaces, the role of hierarchy in the design of architected materials. A specific focus will be on the combination of computational mechanics approaches with novel (multi-material) additive manufacturing routes and the latest digital technologies (i.e., artificial intelligence and virtual/augmented reality tools). This mini-symposium also aims at covering applications in the established field of biomedical devices (i.e., implants, prosthetics, and orthotics) and in the emerging area of bioinspired engineering.

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