Mechanical-based optimization processes in biological structures
Marzullo, Aurora (2011) Mechanical-based optimization processes in biological structures. [Tesi di dottorato] (Inedito)
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The process of the evolution on earth resulted in a vast variety of living structures. The organisms were able to dynamically adapt to various environmental conditions. It is therefore the principal goal of biomimetics to understand the principles that Nature exploits for determining its functions and shapes. The present dissertation, within a mechanical framework aims to highlight how Nature always finds the best way to join a goal by optimizing the use of resources and by changing accordingly to external stimuli. To support this idea, different examples of optimization in Nature have been considered. The first study consists in exploring the possible mechanical-based relationship between the geometry of burrows and geo-mechanical characteristics of the soil that have evolved over time. The second example consist in studying fiber-rinforced cartilage structures showing how the biological tissues are made to minimized the strain energy function. As a final example, the poroelastic solution by Cowin (Cowin 1994) obtained for homogeneous plates was generalized to the case where the material is constituted by two components, allowing to interpret the adaptive processes governing many hierarchical biological tissue. The analytical solution could be used to design mechanically activated drug delivery devices It may be argued is felt that this contribution can be addressed to provide an in-depth understanding of the solutions and strategies, having evolved over time and their possible application for designing new intelligent materials and structure.
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