X-ray Microscopic Studies in Biomimicry

Structure of cuttlefish bone in 3D, field of view here is roughly 0.5 mm. This structure is extremely lightweight while maintaining good strength and structural integrity despite the pressures exerted on it during deep dives of the cuttlefish. “Looking deep into nature: A review of micro-computed tomography in biomimicry, CT Scanner Facility, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa, et al.

Nature has had billions of years to refine itself and develop a plethora of unique structures and functions. Scientists and engineers use what nature shows us to develop some of the most innovative technologies, such as a seahorse tail for a mechanical arm or kingfisher’s bill for a bullet train design. Scientists are using micro-CT images and high resolution 3D data to improve our current understanding of structures to solve engineering problems. Micro-CT is used in the fields of biomimicry and biomimetic engineering, and can be used as generic bio-inspiration. The following articles detail some of the biomimicry studies being done.

Looking deep into nature: A review of micro-computed tomography in biomimicry

This review demonstrates how micro-CT has been used in bio-inspiration and biomimetic studies, including “investigations of multifunctional structures, hierarchical structures, and the growing use of additive manufacturing and mechanical testing of 3D printed models in combination with micro–CT.” Biomimicry seeks to make use of biological inspiration to develop new, improved materials and find new solutions to engineering challenges. This article concludes that micro-CT is a very useful tool for this goal but still under-utilized.

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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.

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Micro-CT – a digital 3D microstructural voyage into scaffolds: a systematic review of the reported methods and results

This article explores how differences in the design of 3D scaffolds such as composition, surface chemistry, architecture, and mechanical properties, can produce numerous different scaffolds. “In nature, structural materials including animal and human tissues have complex hierarchical architectures at multiple scales from nano to macro.” The study concludes that with the critical role of microstructure on the performance of scaffolds, micro-CT is an outstanding tool to characterize scaffold microstructures.

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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.”

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Related Articles:

X-ray Microscopic Comparison of Shark Denticles

Biomimicry – The Burr and the Invention of Velcro

Micro-CT of a House Fly (Musca Domestica) Using the Bruker SkyScan 1272

 

 



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