Interfacial indentations in biological composites

Yaniv Shelef, Benny Bar-On

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Biocomposites comprise highly stiff reinforcement elements connected by a compliant matrix material. While the interfacial elastic properties of these biocomposites play a key role in determining the mechanical properties of the entire biocomposite, these properties cannot be measured directly from standard nanomechanical experiments. Developing a method for extracting the interfacial elastic properties in biocomposites is, therefore, a major objective of cutting-edge biomaterials science. Here, using mechanical modeling and Finite-Element simulations, we analyze the interfacial force–depth relationships, stress distribution, and indentation modulus of standard nanoindentation testing in biocomposites, and we establish an analytical framework that connects these results to the elastic properties of the underlying matrix and reinforcement components. The resulting analytical framework is general and holds for a broad range of biocomposites, thus enabling a deeper understanding of the mechanical characteristics of functional interfaces in various biomaterials. Moreover, this framework can be adapted to account for synthetic, microscale, and nanoscale composite materials, and thereby promotes the development of advanced interfacial configurations with specialized mechanical capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104209
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Analytical modeling
  • Biocomposites
  • Finite-element simulations
  • Indentation modulus
  • Interface
  • Nanomechanical testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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