Meeting Abstract

130.5  Monday, Jan. 7  Morphometric origins of biomechanical flexibility in fish armor VARSHNEY, S.*; ZOLOTOVSKY, E.; LI, Y.N.; BOYCE, M.C.; OXMAN, N.; ORTIZ, C.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Massachusetts Institute of Technology svarsh19@mit.edu

Morphometric analysis was used to identify the design principles of the articulating, mineralized exoskeleton in the armored fish Polypterus senegalus. Excised fish scales were scanned via X-ray micro-computed tomography and 3D reconstructed for landmark-based morphometric analysis. A morphometric map was developed to quantify the spatially-dependent geometric variations of individual armor units from the entire body of P. senegalus and to correlate them with local functionality. The full morphometric profile informed how heterogeneous armor assemblies utilize variable rigid unit geometries on multiple length scales, articulated arrangements of units, functional joints, and unit-to-unit overlap to provide uniform protection from predatory attacks while maintaining agility and maneuverability. The results served as the basis for developing 3D-printed bio-inspired prototypes of flexible body armor for human use.