Bioenergetics - Energy processes in biological materials and bioinspired applications

Energy transfer and dissipation in biological materials

We are interested in the structural and mechanical properties of biological materials at the cellular and molecular level. Unlike inorganic materials where covalent, ionic or metallic bonds link atoms into crystalline lattice or amorphous alloys, nature materials that rely oon weak binding forces (van der Waals, hydrogen bonds et al.) are rich of diversity. Billions of years evolution and adaption leave us design patterns for advanced multifunctional materials. The key step to achieve it is to understand the basic science behind these complex biochemical systems, and our focus is placed on the energetic (mechanical, thermal, electrical and optical) processes.

Fibrous proteins

Figure 1 Mechanical energy transfer and dissipation in fibrous proteins.

Energy processes in bioinspired structures

With the understandings of the underlying science, we are able to make novel designs with the help of cutting-edge technologies. Nanoscale structures and materials are wonderful candicates, to meet our efforts at the cellular and molecular dimensions.


Figure 2 Bioinspired materials and structures.


Xu and Buehler Physical Review E (2010)
Xu, Raffaella and Buehler, Biophysical Journal; Keten, Xu, Britni and Buehler, Nature Materials (2010)
Xu and Buehler, Nano Letters, Nanotechnology (2009)