program - AIAS Summer School 2021

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Traditionally, the AIAS Ph.D. Summer School is held in Ferrara (Italy). Due to the continuing COVID19 pandeminc emergency, this year the school will be offered as virtual course. All lectures will be given live according to the time schedule reported in the program. Course streaming is performed via Google Meet. Once registered, an account on the AIASNET Google workspace will be created and credentials will be provided via mail. During the course days, you will be granted to access to the virtual room using Google Meet avaliable in you AIASNET account. Course material will be also made avaliable for download.


Flavia Libonati

Bio-inspired design: the synergy of computation and advanced manufacturing

Flavia Libonati
University of Genoa, Italy

The high quest for lightweight, strong and tough materials is driving the research towards the design of innovative materials with enhanced performance. In structural applications, composites generally represent the best option, offering a good stiffness-strength balance, combined with a low weight. However, the reduced toughness of composite materials often represents a limitation for their structural applications. Many researchers tried to overcome this limitation by implementing nature-inspired features into the composite design, yielding a new class of advanced composites with improved toughness: the biomimetic composites. By solving the eternal strength-toughness conflict and providing a remarkable amplification of mechanical properties, natural hierarchical materials, such as bone, nacre, wood, represent an optimal biomimetic model and continue to be a great source of inspiration for new material design. Leveraging the synergy of computation and advance manufacturing, allowed researcher to further expand the design space, bringing it to a new level. This talk will show different case studies of biomimetic design, highlighting the role of computation and advanced manufacturing. Each case study investigates the effect of a specific hierarchical sub-structure on the local and global properties and behavior of the analyzed structure, through a combined numerical-experimental approach, highlighting the role of the characteristic structural features to trigger specific mechanisms. This research embraces the fundamental understanding of biological structural materials and the effective transferable technologies for the bio-inspired design and fabrication of novel material systems.

L. Cristofolini
Numerical Modeling and Experimental Testing in Biomechanics

Prof. Luca Cristofolini
University of Bologna

The mechanics of the human body is too complex to be investigated with a single technique.  Originally, experimental measurements were the only viable option to assess the mechanical properties of tissues and interpret the function of organs.  Numerical simulations have progressively become the most commonly used approach in many areas.  The truth is that, given the strengths and limitations of both approaches, the best thing we can do is use them in combination.  In this lecture, Prof Cristofolini will present his work in the field of musculoskeletal biomechanics, including both basic research problems such as bone fracture and the altered mechanical competence due to metastases, and applied ones covering improvement of surgical techniques and pre-clinical validation of implantable devices.

Sara Bagherifard

Surface treatments for bio-functionalization metallic materials

Sara Bagherifard
Mechanical Engineering Department, Politecnico di Milano

In biological environments, the physical and mechanical properties of materials play major roles in mediating their interaction with cells and bacteria and their respective activities. Cells have been found to be extremely sensitive to the mechanical cues present in their immediate microenvironment. Mechano-bactericidal effects exhibited by specific nano-patterns have brought in the prospect of developing sustainable antibacterial materials. Here we use different mechanical surface treatments including surface nanocrystallzation and coatings to induce specific surface functions to biocompatible metallic materials; these include both the standard practices of using materials with intrinsic bactericidal effects, administrating anti-bacterial agents and mechanical surface functionalization using nano-patterns; the latter can inactivate a wide variety of bacteria species with no risk of toxicity, antibiotic resistance or no need of replenishment. The obtained results can pave the way for unlocking the synergistic effects of bactericidal properties and geometrical features towards optimized development of artificial multifunctional biomaterials with sustainable intrinsic antibacterial characteristics.

David Taylor
Failure Mechanisms in Natural Structures

D. Taylor

Biomedical engineers must design load-bearing devices and systems capable of functioning for long periods. In doing this they may take inspiration from natural structures such as bones, the stems of plants and the legs and wings of insects. These structures face potential failure by different modes, such as buckling, plasticity and fatigue. In this lecture, Prof Taylor will describe work he has been doing to understand and predict failure modes in a wide range of natural structures, and to learn from them to create biomimetic solutions.


Sede legale: Via Alfonso Rendano 18,  00199 Roma

Sede operativa:  c/o Univesit√† degli Studi della Calabria, Via Pietro Bucci, 87036 Arcavacata, Rende CS

C. F.: 95104900246

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