Biomimetics and Biomimicry in Engineering

Analysis of Sonication of Baked Foams

In Info, Comment on 2021/09/20 at 10:52 am

2021 Summer Internship – co-written by Ben Sargeant

Over this summer, we have looked back at our large archive of results. Over the years, we have produced many studies into the effect ultrasound can have on baked goods. These include breads, cakes, scones, rustic bread, low-salt, gluten free baked good and donuts. Ben Sargeant has given our previous results a new life; He developed a novel image analysis method, using the open-source software Fiji, to quantify foam characteristics (this is, how fluffy the cake/bread texture is) and enable new insights to be extracted from the results. These data bring together our big data set using texture analysis and mechanical results, and has allowed us to gain a more in-depth understanding about how ultrasound can be used to improve the texture of bakery products. 

We have published the analysis code on our new GitHub Account: . We hope this will be useful for other people’s research and can contribute back to the coding community, that continues to be an invaluable online resource for developing codes. 

Thank you Ben !

Enhanced mechanical performance of lightweight polyurethane foam reinforced with a low content of aligned magnetised short carbon fibres

In Info, Publications on 2021/09/13 at 6:38 am

Our latest work for the manufacture of reinforced cellular polymeric structures is out now. We used a hybrid manufacturing process using insitu magnetisation of carbon fibres that then could be guided, oriented and positioned to those areas of the reacting polymeric core where reinforcement was most needed. In this study we found out that:

  • It is possible to attach magnetite nanoparticles to carbon fibres via a facile electrochemistry route, quick and suitable for mass production
  • These magnetised fibres can be aligned in a structural foam such as a rigid thermoset (polyurethane) foam using a relatively weak source magnetic field
  • The tensile mechanical properties are improved with content loading as low as <0.4%vol, making this approach economic for the manufacturing industry of lightweight composites.


The paper can be accessed at the Composite Interfaces Journal via Taylor & Francis Online.

For a full description of the work and sponsoring bodies, visit this page.

Preosteoblasts dislike Nb

In Publications on 2021/09/06 at 6:33 am

In our last article we study how pre-osteoblasts dislike areas enriched in Niobium (Nb) of a Titanium (Ti) alloy. They are however less discerning with Tin (Sn), which is a very interesting (and cheap!) material for alloying into Titanium.

We have used a mouse model, which behaves in a very similar way to human pre-osteoblastic cells, so these results are meaningful to those working in the materials suitable for orthopaedic applicants in-vivo.

The article can be read here in Open Access.