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Title: Bioinspired Fiber Networks With Tunable Mechanical Properties by Additive Manufacturing
Abstract Soft bioinspired fiber networks offer great potential in biomedical engineering and material design due to their adjustable mechanical behaviors. However, existing strategies to integrate modeling and manufacturing of bioinspired networks do not consider the intrinsic microstructural disorder of biopolymer networks, which limits the ability to tune their mechanical properties. To fill in this gap, we developed a method to generate computer models of aperiodic fiber networks mimicking type I collagen ready to be submitted for additive manufacturing. The models of fiber networks were created in a scripting language wherein key geometric features like connectivity, fiber length, and fiber cross section could be easily tuned to achieve desired mechanical behavior, namely, pretension-induced shear stiffening. The stiffening was first predicted using finite element software, and then a representative network was fabricated using a commercial 3D printer based on digital light processing technology using a soft resin. The stiffening response of the fabricated network was verified experimentally on a novel test device capable of testing the shear stiffness of the specimen under varying levels of uniaxial pretension. The resulting data demonstrated clear pretension-induced stiffening in shear in the fabricated network, with uniaxial pretension of 40% resulting in a factor of 2.65 increase in the small strain shear stiffness. The strategy described in this article addresses current challenges in modeling bioinspired fiber networks and can be readily integrated with advances in fabrication technology to fabricate materials truly replicating the mechanical response of biopolymer networks.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1749400
NSF-PAR ID:
10422331
Author(s) / Creator(s):
;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Mechanics
Volume:
90
Issue:
8
ISSN:
0021-8936
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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