Modulate stress distribution with bio-inspired irregular architected materials towards optimal tissue support

Yingqi Jia, Ke Liu, Xiaojia Shelly Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural materials typically exhibit irregular and non-periodic architectures, endowing them with compelling functionalities such as body protection, camouflage, and mechanical stress modulation. Among these functionalities, mechanical stress modulation is crucial for homeostasis regulation and tissue remodeling. Here, we uncover the relationship between stress modulation functionality and the irregularity of bio-inspired architected materials by a generative computational framework. This framework optimizes the spatial distribution of a limited set of basic building blocks and uses these blocks to assemble irregular materials with heterogeneous, disordered microstructures. Despite being irregular and non-periodic, the assembled materials display spatially varying properties that precisely modulate stress distribution towards target values in various control regions and load cases, echoing the robust stress modulation capability of natural materials. The performance of the generated irregular architected materials is experimentally validated with 3D printed physical samples — a good agreement with target stress distribution is observed. Owing to its capability to redirect loads while keeping a proper amount of stress to stimulate bone repair, we demonstrate the potential application of the stress-programmable architected materials as support in orthopedic femur restoration.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4072
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 21 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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