Morphometric structural diversity of a natural armor assembly investigated by 2D continuum strain analysis

Morphometric structural diversity of a natural armor assembly investigated by 2D continuum strain... Many armored fish scale assemblies use geometric heterogeneity of subunits as a design parameter to provide tailored biomechanical flexibility while maintaining protection from external penetrative threats. This study analyzes the spatially varying shape of individual ganoid scales as a structural element in a biological system, the exoskeleton of the armored fish Polypterus senegalus (bichir). X-ray microcomputed tomography is used to generate digital 3D reconstructions of the mineralized scales. Landmark-based geometric morphometrics is used to measure the geometric variation among scales and to define a set of geometric parameters to describe shape variation. A formalism using continuum mechanical strain analysis is developed to quantify the spatial geometry change of the scales and illustrate the mechanisms of shape morphing between scales. Five scale geometry variants are defined (average, anterior, tail, ventral, and pectoral fin) and their functional implications are discussed in terms of the interscale mobility mechanisms that enable flexibility within the exoskeleton. The results suggest that shape variation in materials design, inspired by structural biological materials, can allow for tunable behavior in flexible composites made of segmented scale assemblies to achieve enhanced user mobility, custom fit, and flexibility around joints for a variety of protective applications. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Structural Biology Elsevier

Morphometric structural diversity of a natural armor assembly investigated by 2D continuum strain analysis

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
1047-8477
eISSN
1095-8657
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.jsb.2015.10.011
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Many armored fish scale assemblies use geometric heterogeneity of subunits as a design parameter to provide tailored biomechanical flexibility while maintaining protection from external penetrative threats. This study analyzes the spatially varying shape of individual ganoid scales as a structural element in a biological system, the exoskeleton of the armored fish Polypterus senegalus (bichir). X-ray microcomputed tomography is used to generate digital 3D reconstructions of the mineralized scales. Landmark-based geometric morphometrics is used to measure the geometric variation among scales and to define a set of geometric parameters to describe shape variation. A formalism using continuum mechanical strain analysis is developed to quantify the spatial geometry change of the scales and illustrate the mechanisms of shape morphing between scales. Five scale geometry variants are defined (average, anterior, tail, ventral, and pectoral fin) and their functional implications are discussed in terms of the interscale mobility mechanisms that enable flexibility within the exoskeleton. The results suggest that shape variation in materials design, inspired by structural biological materials, can allow for tunable behavior in flexible composites made of segmented scale assemblies to achieve enhanced user mobility, custom fit, and flexibility around joints for a variety of protective applications.

Journal

Journal of Structural BiologyElsevier

Published: Dec 1, 2015

References

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