Special Issue "Bio-Inspired Applications of Composites"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Andrew J. Ruys

Director of Biomedical Engineering (Education), Faculty of Engineering, University of Sydney, AMME J07, Sydney NSW 2006, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +612 9351 8610
Interests: biomedical engineering; synthesis and testing of biomaterials; the design of associated medical devices and technologies; bioceramics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Composite materials are comprised of two or more distinct phases, in such a way that the two phases are complementary to one another such that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Most composites are homogenous, such as nanocomposites (e.g., zirconia-toughened-alumina (ZTA)) and fiber-reinforced composites (e.g., fiberglass, fiber-reinforced ceramics). Some composites are macroscopic in nature, such as honeycomb wing panels, and reinforced concrete. Some composites are not homogenous in composition, for example, one of the most remarkable bioinspired materials is inspired by bamboo—a class of composite materials known as functionally-graded materials (FGMs), which are typically metal-ceramic FGMs, in which the composition grades gradually from the hard refractory ceramic side to the tough ductile metal side, inspired by the functional grading of bamboo.

Biomaterials relates to the study of biocompatible materials used for biomedical applications. It involves, not only synthetic materials (e.g., biometals, biopolymers, bioceramics, and biocomposites), but also biological materials (e.g., proteins, cells, natural tissues, etc.). Biomaterials research encompasses various topics including: Materials synthesis and characterization, surface modification, biostability and biodegradation, and cell-material and/or tissue-implant interactions. Typical composite biomaterials include, but are not limited to, nano-biomaterials, smart biomaterials, hybrid biomaterials, nano-biocomposites, and hierarchically porous biomaterials.

Bioinspired materials involve taking inspiration from nature in the development of novel materials. Many biologically-inspired materials are biomaterials, i.e., materials used in medical devices. Biomaterials are used in a wide range of medical devices from joint replacements to heart pacemakers. There is a huge range of biomaterials in commercial use today, and many more under development. Most of the established biomaterials are pure metals polymers or ceramics, i.e., not composites, for example cobalt-chrome, titanium, platinum, polyethylene, silicone, polyurethane, alumina ceramics, and calcium phosphate ceramics. However, composite biomaterials represent the cutting-edge for the future of biomaterials. One of those at the forefront is the nanocomposite zirconia-toughened-alumina (ZTA). Collagen-reinforced hydroxyapatite as a bone analog is another. There are many more.

Not all biologically-inspired composite materials are biomaterials. This Special Issue is concerned with both composite biomaterials, such as ZTA, and composite advanced engineering materials, such as honeycomb wing sections. Bioinspiration involves the study and mimicking of natural processes, not only in the design of new materials, but is also in the understanding of the mechanisms by which natural materials achieve their material properties, from the nanostructure of life-forms and tissues, right up to the micro and macrostructure of natural biological structures.

Contributions to this Special Issue are invited along all of the associated thematic areas: Composite biomaterials, composite advanced engineering materials, theory and analysis of bioinspiration mechanisms underlying composites, and specific applications of bioinspired composite materials. Ideally, contributions to this Special Issue will combine one or more of these themes.

Prof. Dr. Andrew Ruys
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Materials
  • Nanomaterials
  • Composites
  • Fiber-reinforced composites
  • Nanocomposites
  • Functionally graded materials (FGMs)
  • Smart materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomimetics
  • Metals
  • Biometals
  • Ceramics
  • Bioceramics
  • Polymers
  • Biopolymers

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Composition Distribution, Damping and Thermal Properties of the Thickness-Continuous Gradient Epoxy/Polyurethane Interpenetrating Polymer Networks
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 135; doi:10.3390/app7020135
Received: 23 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 30 January 2017
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Abstract
A thickness gradient interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) was easily created that takes advantage of the relatively poor compatibility and curing rates discrepancy between epoxy (EP) and polyurethane (PU). Ultraviolet absorption spectrum (UV-Vis), thermogravimetric (TG), Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Dynamic thermomechanical analysis (DMA), Atomic
[...] Read more.
A thickness gradient interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) was easily created that takes advantage of the relatively poor compatibility and curing rates discrepancy between epoxy (EP) and polyurethane (PU). Ultraviolet absorption spectrum (UV-Vis), thermogravimetric (TG), Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Dynamic thermomechanical analysis (DMA), Atomic force microscope (AFM) and water contact angle were adopted to characterize this IPN structure. We found that the absorption in visible light region, glass-transition temperatures (Tg), thermal decomposition temperatures (Td) and Derjaguin–Muller–Toporov (DMT) modulus were increasing along with the gradient direction from bottom side to top side of the IPN. While the absorption in ultraviolet region and adhesion force were decreasing along with the gradient direction from bottom side to top side of the IPN. DMA analysis demonstrates that this continuous gradient IPN has a good balance between the damping temperature range and the loss factor which is suitable for using as a self-supporting damping structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Inspired Applications of Composites)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Cranioplasty and Craniofacial Reconstruction: A Review of Implant Material, Manufacturing Method and Infection Risk
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 276; doi:10.3390/app7030276
Received: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Analysis of current literature highlights a wide variation in reported infection risk for different materials in cranial repair. The purpose of these composite materials are to mimic natural bone and assist in restoring function (structurally and aesthetically) to the human skull. This review
[...] Read more.
Analysis of current literature highlights a wide variation in reported infection risk for different materials in cranial repair. The purpose of these composite materials are to mimic natural bone and assist in restoring function (structurally and aesthetically) to the human skull. This review aims to examine the meta-data in order to provide an amalgamated overview of potential trends between implant material, manufacturing method and infection risk, in order to provide a core reference point for future studies surrounding emerging biomedical materials in the fields of cranioplasty by providing base point for understanding the capabilities and limitations of current technologies. Methods: A search for articles was conducted, with the following criteria seen as fundamental in providing an accurate picture of the current landscape: publication in the last decade, provision of a numerical value for both number of implants and infection cases, patient sample of 10+, adult patients, and cranioplasty/cranial repair. Results: A total of 41 articles were seen to meet the author’s inclusion criteria. Average infection rates per material ranged between 2.04% and 10.98%. The results indicate that there is variation between materials in regards to total infection risk, however, depending on the materials compared, this value may be insignificant. Alternative risk factors associated with infection, including surgical time, revisions and previous infection, have a greater impact on infection potential than material variation. Comparison of fabrication methods did highlight a notable effect on average infection rate. Trends can be observed showing that materials with greater levels of surface interaction and active support of tissue ingrowth presented greater infection resistance. Such characteristics are due to the physical structures of the implants. Conclusions: It can be said that the manufacturing methods can influence biomedical materials to assist in minimizing implant infection risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Inspired Applications of Composites)
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