Bone-Inspired Materials by Design: Toughness Amplification Observed Using 3D Printing and Testing

Flavia Libonati, Grace X. Gu, Zhao Qin, Laura Vergani, Markus J. Buehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations


Inspired by the fact that nature provides multifunctional composites by using universal building blocks, the authors design and test synthetic composites with a pattern inspired by the microstructure of cortical bone. Using a high-resolution multimaterial 3D printer, the authors are able to manufacture samples and investigate their fracture behavior in mechanical tests. The authors’ results demonstrate that the bone-inspired design is critical for toughness amplification and balance with material strength. The failure modes of the authors’ synthetic composites show similarities with the cortical bone, like crack deflection and branching, constrained microcracking, and fibril bridging. The authors’ results confirm that our design is eligible to reproduce the fracture and toughening mechanism of bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1354-1363
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Engineering Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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