A new book co-authored by Lorna Gibson, the Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, brings to life the fascinating structures and unique mechanics of natural and biomedical cellular materials.
Arranged in three parts, Cellular Materials in Nature and Medicine (Cambridge University Press) begins with a review of the mechanical properties of nature's building blocks (structural proteins, polysaccharides and minerals) and the mechanics of cellular materials. Part II then describes a wide range of cellular materials in nature: honeycomb-like materials such as wood and cork; foam-like materials including trabecular bone, plant parenchyma, coral and sponge; and composites of cellular and dense materials such as iris leaves, skulls, palm, bamboo, animal quills and plant stems. Images convey the structural similarities of different materials, whilst color property charts provide mechanical data. Part III discusses biomedical applications of cellular materials: metal foams for orthopedic applications and porous scaffolds for regenerating tissues, including the effect of scaffold properties on cell behavior.
Gibson’s co-authors are Michael Ashby of the University of Cambridge and Brendan A. Harley of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.