(ProductDesign&Development) Leon Dimas, a doctoral student in MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is creating new materials that have resilience of their own — by borrowing from the oldest blueprint around. Biomaterials such as bone and nacre (also known as mother-of-pearl) remain robust even in the presence of cracks, defects or other flaws. In bone, for example, the brittle mineral apatite and the soft protein collagen are arranged in patterns that yield a strong and tough composite. In a series of interrelated papers, the most recent of which was published last year in Advanced Functional Materials, Dimas and other researchers — including his advisor, Professor Markus Buehler, head of MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering— created models that predicted the fracture response, fracture resistance and durability of synthetic materials that arranged their ingredients in various natural and synthetic geometries.
Tags: 3D printing, biomaterials, Leon Dimas, MIT, Professor Markus Buehler