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MODELING MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF BIOLOGICAL NANOMATERIALS

Baohua Ji;Huajian Gao (Max Planck Institute for Metals Research;Stuttgart;Germany)

   Living organisms in nature have developed elaborate bulk and surfacenanostructures to imporove and/or optimize various functions of life such as mechanicalsupport,locomotion and prey capturing.These covergent biological nanostructures canbe assumed to have gradually developed and imporoved over the long course of naturalevolution to maximize the chance of survival of the living creatures.In this evolution,mechanical forces have no doubt played critical roles in shaping biological systems intowhat they become today.This paper is aimed to discuss how nanostructures of biologicalsystems are related to their mechanical functions.We show that the nanometer scale playsa key role in allowing bone-and gecko-like biological systems to achieve their superiormechanical properties.Our results suggest that the principle of flaw tolerance may havehad an overarching influence on the evolution of the bulk nanostructure of bone-likematerials and the surface nanostructure of gecko—like animal species.……