Micro-CT Applications for Biomimicry Studies


Micro-CT Applications for Biomimicry Studies

Analyzing nature’s protective design: The glyptodont body armor

This article demonstrates that  3D micro-CT is a powerful tool for the analysis of protective body armor in the animal kingdom, such as scales of fish, carapaces of turtles, and  and bony plates or osteoderms of reptiles. The diversity in structure and associated mechanical behavior has made natural body armor suitable for study in the hopes of developing better artificial protective materials in the built world. This study investigates the osteoderms of Glyptotherium arizonae, an extinct armadillo-like mammal that had body armor as protection against predators. By using a combination of micro-CT, stress simulations, and mechanical testing of 3D printed models, the study shows that “the combination of dense compact layers and porous lattice core might provide an optimized combination of strength and high energy absorption.”

READ MORE​ on using micro-CT to study body armor in nature, from the .​Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials.

Shark skin-inspired designs that improve aerodynamic performance

Evolutionary biologists and engineers at Harvard University used micro-CT to study sharkskin and demonstrated a new, bioinspired structure that could improve the aerodynamic performance of planes, wind turbines, drones, and cars. The researchers studied the shortfin mako, the fastest shark alive. Using micro CT scans of the skin they created 3D models of the denticles and printed them onto an airfoil. They then tested the airfoil in a water flow tank using different configurations of the structures. The results showed that the shapes improved the lift to drag ratio by up to 323 percent when compared to an airfoil without the denticle designs. These results could lead to much more fuel efficient airplanes, wind turbines. drones, and cars.

READ MORE​ on using micro-CT to study sharkskin, from the ​JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY NTERFACE.

Biomimetic Orthopedic Materials

Interdisciplinary approaches based on biomimicry, materials sciences, and tissue engineering have enabled the development of biomimetic materials with defined chemical composition, physical structure, and biological function for a wide range of biomedical applications. This is an overview of current trends in the design of biomimetic orthopedic materials that utilize structural and functional properties that are inspired from nature.

READ MORE​ on using micro-CT for research on the development of new orthopedic materials based on biomimicry, from ​Orthopedic Biomaterials: Advances and Applications.

Innovative Biomaterials in Bone Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

This article provides an overview of approaching research for new material and technologies development by looking at methods for biomimicry as well as reverse engineering new materials to be used in bone tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Micro-CT was an important tool in the research process. The article concludes that “new fabrication processes based on additive manufacturing technologies and studies on biomechanics and biomimetics could enable the set-up of new design criteria for human prostheses.”

READ MORE​ on using micro-CT for studies in bone tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, from the ​Ste​m Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine​ book series.

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