Special Reviews

Rigid Biological Systems as Models for Synthetic Composites

Science  18 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5751, pp. 1144-1147
DOI: 10.1126/science.1116994

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Abstract

Advances that have been made in understanding the mechanisms underlying the mechanical behavior of a number of biological materials (namely mollusk shells and sponge spicules) are discussed here. Attempts at biomimicry of the structure of a nacreous layer of a mollusk shell have shown reasonable success. However, they have revealed additional issues that must be addressed if new synthetic composite materials that are based on natural systems are to be constructed. Some of the important advantages and limitations of copying from nature are also described here.

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