bone as an interpenetrating composite

Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Research Institute Affiliation: CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials & Systems
Faculty Advisor(s): Joanna M. McKittrick

Primary Student
Name: Frances Yenan Su
Phone: 858-333-7591
Grad Year: 2018

While bone is known for being a stiff, strong, tough, and lightweight biological composite, the nanostructure of bone is still a matter of debate. Most studies assume that mineral platelets are limited to the gap regions in collagen fibrils and some studies model bone nanostructure with extrafibrillar mineral. In either of these models, there is a single continuous phase with the other phase isolated. In this study, bone is hypothesized to be an interpenetrating composite of the collagen and mineral phases. Phases were isolated through deproteinization and demineralization of bone using different chemical methods. The effectiveness of these methods was evaluated and the mineral phase was found to be continuous. Then, simplified models of interpenetrating, inclusion-matrix, and no-network composites were created using a multi-material 3D printer. In the composites, a stiff polymer represents the mineral phase and a soft polymer representing the collagen phase. Mechanical tests of 3D composites were compared to results from finite element simulations in ABAQUS. This research is supported by the National Science Foundation (DMR-1507978).

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