Mechanics of Mineralised Materials
The way that nature synthesizes multifunctional materials is fascinating yet abstruse even with state-of-the-art material characterisation techniques. Nature’s strategy for designing hierarchical structures is to merge organic molecules with inorganic ones under genetic control to come up with exquisite materials with remarkable features. Interestingly, the formation mechanisms of mesoscale biomaterials remain unknown, even though they lie between nano and macro scale materials both of which have well-established theories. Biominerals provide excellent examples of mesoscale structures among which avian eggshells are truly attractive. They present challenging mechanical properties along with paradoxical structures offered for the growth of an embryo. Eggshells are the most rapidly forming minerals in nature yet the rate of these extracellular overnight factories is still elusive even to engineers equipped with cutting-edge technology. My Ph.D. project aims making a contribution to unveil the strategy of nature synthesizing energy-efficient materials at ambient conditions with non-toxic compounds. I am trying to shed some light on the minimal requirements for bioinspired candidate pathways to address a balance between impalpable natural wonders and humble man-made counterparts.