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Bioinspired Materials

Biological systems and the materials they synthesise are of interest to materials scientists because they provide novel solutions to challenges involving synthetic materials. For example, toughness and strength are two material properties that are generally mutually exclusive to each other - improving the strength of a man-made material usually tends to decrease its toughness.

However, biological systems are able to overcome this through precise nanoscale controle of the amorphous and crystalline state.  In systems such as skin, a combination of biologically produced fibers with differing elastic moduli work in synergy to resist extension.  In biological composites, such as bones and teeth, precise control of the amorphous protein phase, the mineral phase, and crucially the interface between the two, are known to be resposible for their unique load-baring properties.

These materials tend to be hierarchical in nature, meaning that no single characterisation method or tool is suitible to providing a complete answer to the question of how their properties are related to their structure.  Instead, we use a variety of tools, including vibrational spectroscopy, WAXS/SAXS, DFT, atomistic computer modelling, and coarse-graining.

People specializing in this area

Academic Staff

Prof James Elliott, MA (Cantab) CPhys MInstPhys

I am directing projects on an EPSRC-funded consortium project entitled "The Interface between Materials and Biology" (MIB), which aims to apply computational modelling to experimental problems involving biological and biomimetic materials. Further information on MIB at:

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/csc/collab/mib

Postdoctoral Research Associates

Dr Patrick Kiley

I am interested in the energetic properties of the collagen-solvent and collagen-mineral interface, both of which are known to affect its tensile properties.  Because collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, where it serves as the principal load-bearing molecule in most tissues, including bones, teeth, and skin, understanding how this interface affects collagen stability and tensile properties is of biomedical importance.

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Angelika Beinert wins Reedy scholarship

Sep 14, 2018

Congratulations to Angelika Beinert, who won a Michael Reedy scholarship to present her work on liquid phase production of nanofoams at FOAMS 2018 in Montreal, Canada 13-14 September 2018.

MML welcomes new arrival!

Jun 28, 2018

Many congratulations to Thurid and John on the safe delivery of their baby boy, Justus, who arrived last week. We wish them well with the adventures of parenthood!

Triboluminescence flashes from high-speed ruptures in carbon nanotube Macro-Yarns

Dec 06, 2017

A new paper by Thurid S.Gspan, Nigel H. H. Ngern, Andrew Fowler, Alan H. Windle, Vincent B.C.Tan, James A. Elliott is published in Materials Letters.

Welcome Cesar to the MML Group

Sep 16, 2017

We hope everyone had a great summer. We would like to welcome a new MML group member: Dr Cesar Miranda-Reyes.

Congratulations to MML Group in NT17

Jun 28, 2017

MML group, including Prof. James Elliott, Dr Thurid Gspann, Dr Adarsh Kaniyoor, Dr Jerónimo Terrones Portas, attended the NT17 in Brzail and attracted significant attentions from the related scientific community.

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