Biological materials by design

Zhao Qin, Leon Dimas, David Adler, Graham Bratzel, Markus J. Buehler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


In this topical review we discuss recent advances in the use of physical insight into the way biological materials function, to design novel engineered materials 'from scratch', or from the level of fundamental building blocks upwards and by using computational multiscale methods that link chemistry to material function. We present studies that connect advances in multiscale hierarchical material structuring with material synthesis and testing, review case studies of wood and other biological materials, and illustrate how engineered fiber composites and bulk materials are designed, modeled, and then synthesized and tested experimentally. The integration of experiment and simulation in multiscale design opens new avenues to explore the physics of materials from a fundamental perspective, and using complementary strengths from models and empirical techniques. Recent developments in this field illustrate a new paradigm by which complex material functionality is achieved through hierarchical structuring in spite of simple material constituents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number073101
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 19 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • bioinspired
  • experiment
  • materials
  • mechanical properties
  • simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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