The Center for Biological, Bioinspired, and Biomaterials

Here we investigate biological systems and apply the lessons learned in order to develop novel, bioinspired materials and biomaterials. Our research focuses on three main areas:

News Obituary: Professor Joanna McKittrick

Biological materials – the study of natural materials (e.g. bone, feathers, skin).

Biomimetics or bioinspired materials design – synthesis of novel materials, devices, and structures inspired by biology.

Biomaterials – the application of materials in the biomedical arena (e.g. implants).

Joanna McKittrick, a pioneering engineer at the University of California San Diego and a renowned expert in materials science passed away Nov. 15, 2019. She was 65.

To read more please click News Obituary: Professor Joanna McKittrick

Updated: 12/18/2019

Structural Biological Materials

We study a variety of biological materials that are lightweight, strong, and fracture resistant.

Characteristics of Biological Materials

The classic Arzt heptahedron describes the seven unique characteristics of biological materials.

Toughness and Modulus

Organic based biological materials show high toughness (biopolymers/natural elastomers) and low modulus. The inorganic constituents (biominerals) show high modulus and low toughness.

In combination, the composite (bone and nacre) have both high toughness and modulus which is not seen in typical synthetic materials. This is a desirable attribute of biological materials and is inspiration for many bioinspired designs.

Adapted from: Arzt, E. Biological and artificial attachment devices: Lessons for materials scientists from flies and geckos. Mater. Sci. Eng. C 26, 1245–1250 (2006).

3D Printing to Develop Bioinspired Designs

This process map describes how additive manufacturing is used to probe biological materials and bioinspired designs.

Reproduced from: Velasco-Hogan, A., Xu, J. & Meyers, M. A. Additive Manufacturing as a Method to Design and Optimize Bioinspired Structures. Advanced Materials (2018). doi:10.1002/adma.201800940