Acellular bone material of PIKE fish

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The study of the structure-function relationships of bio-nanocomposites has deepened our understanding of evolution driven materials engineering, and provided biomimetic inspiration for their application. Specific structural materials such as mammalian bones are particularly well studied, and have produced many insights into the advantages of hierarchical architecture and the resulting impressive mechanical properties that biology creates. Fish bones however, which possess very long evolutionary paths and are very widespread in different environments are only poorly understood.

We have recently shown that this material has unusual structural, architecture and mechanical characteristics, which we are investigating further. We combine advanced materialscharacterization methodologies to study and better understand the 3D layout of the structure of fish bone and its key components and properties at different hierarchical length scales, ranging from the mm down to the submicron.

The arrangement of the mineralized collagen fibrils as well as the distribution of cavities present within the bulk of this bone material are being mapped, and we use these data to characterize and understand the elastic material properties and fracture behavior of this unusual structural biological material.