240 pages, 206 b/w illustrations, 15 tables
This is a thoroughly revised, updated, and expanded edition of a classic illustrated introduction to the structural materials in natural organisms and what we can learn from them to improve man-made technolog---from nanotechnology to textiles to architecture. Julian Vincent's book has long been recognized as a standard work on the engineering design of biomaterials and is used by undergraduates, graduates, researchers, and professionals studying biology, zoology, engineering, and biologically inspired design. This third edition incorporates new developments in the field, the most important of which have been at the molecular level. All of the illustrations have been redrawn, the references have been updated, and a new chapter on biomimetic design has been added.
Vincent emphasizes the mechanical properties of structural biomaterials, their contribution to the lives of organisms, and how these materials differ from man-made ones. He shows how the properties of biomaterials are derived from their chemistry and interactions, and how to measure them. Starting with proteins and polysaccharides, he shows how skin and hair function, how materials self-assemble, and how ceramics such as bone and mother-of-pearl can be so stiff and tough, despite being made in water in benign ambient conditions. Finally, he combines these topics with an analysis of how the design of biomaterials can be adapted in technology, and presents a series of guidelines for designers.
Praise for the first edition
"[A]n excellent introduction to the field.... The easy style and the lighthearted references to such things as the 'fracture of table jelly' and 'half-boiled notions' about egg shells will help biological readers to cope with the many complex physical concepts introduced."
- John M. Gosline, American Scientist
"This book should go a long way towards filling the communication gap between biology and physics. . . . It begins with the basic theory of elasticity and viscoelasticity, describing concepts like stress, strain, compliance and plasticity in simple mathematical terms. . . . For the non-biologist, these chapters provide a clear account of macromolecular structure and conformation. . . . [Vincent's work] is a delight to read, full of interesting anecdotes and examples from unexpected sources.... I can strongly recommend this book, as it shows how biologists could use mechanical properties as well as conventional methods to deduce molecular structure."
- Anna Furth, Times Higher Education Supplement
Review of the current, third edition:
"With this revision, this book should continue its thirty-year role as a unique resource. No other so squarely faces the mechanical interrelationships between structure and the functions of the materials of which we--and all other life--are made. The new edition adds a much-enriched set of references and an uncommonly sensible chapter on biomimetics."
- Steven Vogel, professor emeritus, Duke University
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