Session W14: Focus Session: Extreme Mechanics: Elasticity and Deformation III

11:15 AM–2:15 PM, Thursday, March 24, 2011
Room: D227

Sponsoring Unit: GSNP
Chair: Pedro Reis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract ID: BAPS.2011.MAR.W14.7

Abstract: W14.00007 : Mechanics of Suture Joints

12:27 PM–12:39 PM

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  Yaning Li

  Juha Song

  Christine Ortiz

  Mary Boyce

Biological sutures are joints which connect two stiff skeletal or skeletal-like components. These joints possess a wavy geometry with a thin organic layer providing adhesion. Examples of biological sutures include mammalian skulls, the pelvic assembly of the armored fish Gasterosteus aculeatus (the three-spined stickleback), and the suture joints in the shell of the red-eared slider turtle. Biological sutures allow for movement and compliance, control stress concentrations, transmit loads, reduce fatigue stress and absorb energy. In this investigation, the mechanics of the role of suture geometry in providing a naturally optimized joint is explored. In particular, analytical and numerical micromechanical models of the suture joint are constructed. The anisotropic mechanical stiffness and strength are studied as a function of suture wavelength, amplitude and the material properties of the skeletal and organic components, revealing key insights into the optimized nature of these ubiquitous natural joints.

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