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The biocomposite tube of a chaetopterid marine worm constructed with highly-controlled orientation of nanofilaments

TitleThe biocomposite tube of a chaetopterid marine worm constructed with highly-controlled orientation of nanofilaments
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsShah D.U, Vollrath F., Stires J., Deheyn DD
JournalMaterials Science & Engineering C-Materials for Biological Applications
Volume48
Pagination408-415
Date Published2015/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0928-4931
Accession NumberWOS:000348749200053
Keywordsbehavior; Biological composites; biomechanics; Chaetopterus; Composite; marine polychaete; organisation; parchment biomaterial; pipes; pipes and tanks; polychaeta; Tube housing; Ultrastructural; variopedatus renier; winding angle
Abstract

The ultrastructure of the self-constructed tube housing of the bioluminescent marine worm, Chaetopterus sp. reveals that the bio-nanocomposite tube comprises of multiple non-woven plies of multi-axially oriented organic nanofilaments (empty set 50-1100 nm) cemented together by an unstructured organic matrix binder. The thin-walled, impermeable tubes are bin-inspirational for conventional pipe technology. Orientation distribution analyses revealed that the dominant orientation angles of nanofilaments in the tube were 0 degrees, +/- 45 degrees and +/- 65 degrees, which correlate well with optimal winding angles for 'man-made' fibre reinforced composite pipes subjected to specific loading conditions. Such a use of high aspect ratio nanofilaments in multi-axial laminates would impart toughness and flexibility to the tube structure, and facilitate rapid tube growth. While the tube production mechanism is not entirely known at this stage, our time-lapse studies show that, contrary to generic assumptions in literature, the worm actively, rapidly and sporadically produces and expands the tube. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI10.1016/j.msec.2014.12.015
Student Publication: 
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