Biomimetics and Biomimicry in Engineering

Preosteoblasts dislike Nb

In Publications on 2020/11/30 at 4:44 pm

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.

Invited Lecture at 6th CellMat

In Seminars and Keynotes on 2020/11/23 at 10:05 am

The 6th edition of the CellMat organised by the DGM e.V took place on 7th to the 9th October 2020. Due to the pandemic, this edition of CellMat was held online.

The MMM Lab was asked to give an Invited Lecture. We took the opportunity to present the work we have been doing on the Sonication of Cellular Structures over the years.

‘Making with Sound: Manufacturing Functional Cellular Materials and Lightweight Structures via truly SFF (Solid Free Form) fabrication’

Abstract: Solid Free Form (SFF) fabrication, also known as Rapid prototyping (RP) or Layered Manufacturing (LM), creates arbitrary 3D shapes directly from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) data. It has been around for two decades now. From its early age it demonstrated tremendous advantages for the Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) industry compared to traditional manufacturing methods such as CNC machining or casting. The venues for exploration appeared endless until users started to hit a ceiling; the name ‘rapid’ became almost ironic because the layering process is very slow, the palette of materials to handle is limited and the advertised label ‘net-shape’ is ‘near-shape’ – on a lucky day-. We are now over the hype of SFF, RP and LM but still need to create heterogeneous structures that have intrinsic multifunctionality. The Multifunctional Materials Manufacturing Lab in Loughborough University works on new manufacturing methods, including the use of ultrasound and other external fields, for cellular materials that allow a truly free form fabrication and the engineering of composition and structure for the creation of materials that are smart, responsive to their environment and possess synergistic properties that enhance their behaviour. These types of high performance materials offer great promise in fields such as health & well-being, bioengineering, food technology and transport (i.e. automotive and aerospace).

Magnetising carbon fibre

In Publications on 2020/11/16 at 2:54 pm

We have been transforming a non magnetic material such as carbon fibre into a magnetised one. See Maryam here testing the discontinuous fibres:


For full video, visit this page

This effect opens the possibility to align these short carbon fibres in a polymeric matrix composite using a weak magnetic field, reinforcing where needed and alleviating mass in zones not subjected to loads, enabling the design and manufacture of lightweight structures.

Read more about this work here.

This work has been supported by EPSRC CDT-EI, Far UK, iNET and Innovate UK.