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Special Issue "Advances in Bio-inspired Materials"

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A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomaterials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Nicola Pugno (Website)

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale e Meccanica Università di Trento, via Mesiano, 77 I-38123 Trento, Italy
Fax: +39 0461 282599
Interests: bio-inspired hierarchical super nanomaterials; super-strong graphene, nanotubes and related bundles and composites; smart adhesion of insects, spiders and geckos and related gecko-inspired nanostructured surfaces; self-cleaning & anti-adhesive super-hydrophobic leaves and related lotus-inspired nanostructured surfaces; spider-silk and web and related spider-inspired super-tough materials and structures; design and fabrication of Nano Electro Mechanical Systems; hierarchical fibre bundle models, ropes, tissues and cellular solids; graphene nanoscrolls and related systems; nanomedicine: tumor cellular growth, nanovector therapeutics and scaffolds for the regenerative medicine; nanoindentation and related size- and shape-effects; Quantized Fracture Mechanics, in quasi-static, dynamic and fatigue regimes; Nanoscale Weibull & Fractal Statistics and related size-effects on material strength; multiscale fragmentation under impact and explosions and structural dynamics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Unlocking the mysteries behind the superior design and mechanical properties of natural materials, promises to bring soon decisive novelties to our lives. From the elasticity of blood vessels, to the self-healing properties of bones, the strength of nacre, the smart adhesion of gecko feet, the self-cleaning quality of the lotus leaf, the resistance of the spiderweb, biology offers endless inspiration to engineering materials.
In this special issue we focus on the most recent advances in bio-inspired materials, with an emphasis on their mechanical hierarchical design, from the nano- to the macro-scale, hoping to contribute to the advent of a new material era.

Prof. Dr. Nicola Pugno
Guest Editor

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Hierarchical Fibers with a Negative Poisson’s Ratio for Tougher Composites
Materials 2013, 6(2), 699-712; doi:10.3390/ma6020699
Received: 27 November 2012 / Revised: 9 January 2013 / Accepted: 15 January 2013 / Published: 22 February 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (669 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, a new kind of hierarchical tube with a negative Poisson’s ratio (NPR) is proposed. The first level tube is constructed by rolling up an auxetic hexagonal honeycomb. Then, the second level tube is produced by substituting the arm of [...] Read more.
In this paper, a new kind of hierarchical tube with a negative Poisson’s ratio (NPR) is proposed. The first level tube is constructed by rolling up an auxetic hexagonal honeycomb. Then, the second level tube is produced by substituting the arm of the auxetic sheet with the first level tube and rolling it up. The Nth ( ) level tube can be built recursively. Based on the Euler beam theory, the equivalent elastic parameters of the NPR hierarchical tubes under small deformations are derived. Under longitudinal axial tension, instead of shrinking, all levels of the NPR hierarchical tubes expand in the transverse direction. Using these kinds of auxetic tubes as reinforced fibers in composite materials would result in a higher resistance to fiber pullout. Thus, this paper provides a new strategy for the design of fiber reinforced hierarchical bio-inspired composites with a superior pull-out mechanism, strength and toughness. An application with super carbon nanotubes concludes the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bio-inspired Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Polyamine-Promoted Growth of One-Dimensional Nanostructure-Based Silica and Its Feature in Catalyst Design
Materials 2012, 5(10), 1787-1799; doi:10.3390/ma5101787
Received: 12 September 2012 / Revised: 23 September 2012 / Accepted: 24 September 2012 / Published: 1 October 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Crystalline linear polyethyleneimine (LPEI) is a fascinating polymer that can be used as a catalyst, template and scaffold in order to direct the formation of silica with controllable compositions and spatial structures under mild conditions. Considering the crystallization and assembly of LPEI [...] Read more.
Crystalline linear polyethyleneimine (LPEI) is a fascinating polymer that can be used as a catalyst, template and scaffold in order to direct the formation of silica with controllable compositions and spatial structures under mild conditions. Considering the crystallization and assembly of LPEI is temperature-dependent, we adopted different accelerated cooling processes of a hot aqueous solution of LPEI in order to modulate the LPEI crystalline aggregates. We then used them in the hydrolytic condensation of alkoxysilane. A series of silica with nanofibrils, nanotubes and nanowire-based structures were achieved simply by the LPEI aggregates which were pre-formed in defined cooling processes. These specific one-dimensional nanoscale structures assembled into microscale fibers-, sheet- and platelet-like coalescences. Furthermore, the deposition kinetics was also researched by the combination of other characterizations (e.g., pH measurement, 29Si MAS NMR). As a preliminary application, the hybrids of LPEI@SiO2 were used not only as an agent for reducing PtCl42− into Pt but also as host for loading Pt nanoparticles. The Pt-loaded silica showed good catalytic properties in the reduction of Rhodamine B by dimethylaminoborane (DMAB). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bio-inspired Materials)

Review

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Open AccessReview Engineering Cellular Photocomposite Materials Using Convective Assembly
Materials 2013, 6(5), 1803-1825; doi:10.3390/ma6051803
Received: 20 February 2013 / Revised: 22 April 2013 / Accepted: 23 April 2013 / Published: 7 May 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fabricating industrial-scale photoreactive composite materials containing living cells, requires a deposition strategy that unifies colloid science and cell biology. Convective assembly can rapidly deposit suspended particles, including whole cells and waterborne latex polymer particles into thin (<10 µm thick), organized films with [...] Read more.
Fabricating industrial-scale photoreactive composite materials containing living cells, requires a deposition strategy that unifies colloid science and cell biology. Convective assembly can rapidly deposit suspended particles, including whole cells and waterborne latex polymer particles into thin (<10 µm thick), organized films with engineered adhesion, composition, thickness, and particle packing. These highly ordered composites can stabilize the diverse functions of photosynthetic cells for use as biophotoabsorbers, as artificial leaves for hydrogen or oxygen evolution, carbon dioxide assimilation, and add self-cleaning capabilities for releasing or digesting surface contaminants. This paper reviews the non-biological convective assembly literature, with an emphasis on how the method can be modified to deposit living cells starting from a batch process to its current state as a continuous process capable of fabricating larger multi-layer biocomposite coatings from diverse particle suspensions. Further development of this method will help solve the challenges of engineering multi-layered cellular photocomposite materials with high reactivity, stability, and robustness by clarifying how process, substrate, and particle parameters affect coating microstructure. We also describe how these methods can be used to selectively immobilize photosynthetic cells to create biomimetic leaves and compare these biocomposite coatings to other cellular encapsulation systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bio-inspired Materials)
Open AccessReview Advanced Strategies for Articular Cartilage Defect Repair
Materials 2013, 6(2), 637-668; doi:10.3390/ma6020637
Received: 7 January 2013 / Revised: 6 February 2013 / Accepted: 16 February 2013 / Published: 22 February 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1160 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Articular cartilage is a unique tissue owing to its ability to withstand repetitive compressive stress throughout an individual’s lifetime. However, its major limitation is the inability to heal even the most minor injuries. There still remains an inherent lack of strategies that [...] Read more.
Articular cartilage is a unique tissue owing to its ability to withstand repetitive compressive stress throughout an individual’s lifetime. However, its major limitation is the inability to heal even the most minor injuries. There still remains an inherent lack of strategies that stimulate hyaline-like articular cartilage growth with appropriate functional properties. Recent scientific advances in tissue engineering have made significant steps towards development of constructs for articular cartilage repair. In particular, research has shown the potential of biomaterial physico-chemical properties significantly influencing the proliferation, differentiation and matrix deposition by progenitor cells. Accordingly, this highlights the potential of using such properties to direct the lineage towards which such cells follow. Moreover, the use of soluble growth factors to enhance the bioactivity and regenerative capacity of biomaterials has recently been adopted by researchers in the field of tissue engineering. In addition, gene therapy is a growing area that has found noteworthy use in tissue engineering partly due to the potential to overcome some drawbacks associated with current growth factor delivery systems. In this context, such advanced strategies in biomaterial science, cell-based and growth factor-based therapies that have been employed in the restoration and repair of damaged articular cartilage will be the focus of this review article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bio-inspired Materials)
Open AccessReview Advances in Fabrication Materials of Honeycomb Structure Films by the Breath-Figure Method
Materials 2013, 6(2), 460-482; doi:10.3390/ma6020460
Received: 27 December 2012 / Revised: 16 January 2013 / Accepted: 28 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (2242 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Creatures in nature possess almost perfect structures and properties, and exhibit harmonization and unification between structure and function. Biomimetics, mimicking nature for engineering solutions, provides a model for the development of functional surfaces with special properties. Recently, honeycomb structure materials have attracted [...] Read more.
Creatures in nature possess almost perfect structures and properties, and exhibit harmonization and unification between structure and function. Biomimetics, mimicking nature for engineering solutions, provides a model for the development of functional surfaces with special properties. Recently, honeycomb structure materials have attracted wide attention for both fundamental research and practical applications and have become an increasingly hot research topic. Though progress in the field of breath-figure formation has been reviewed, the advance in the fabrication materials of bio-inspired honeycomb structure films has not been discussed. Here we review the recent progress of honeycomb structure fabrication materials which were prepared by the breath-figure method. The application of breath figures for the generation of all kinds of honeycomb is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bio-inspired Materials)
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