A multidisciplinary research group focused on developing data-driven design, prototyping, and characterization tools to explain the biomechanics and evolution of natural systems for the bio-inspired invention of new materials, structures, and machines.



Unraveling the material-structure-property-function relationships that dictate the mechanical evolution and performance trade-offs of natural biological materials.

Selected Publications:

Multidimensional mechanics: performance mapping of natural biological systems using permutated radar charts.

PLoS One. 2018;13(9):e0204309.

Structural design elements in biological materials: application to bioinspiration.

Advanced Materials. 2015;27(37):5455-76.

Nature's Design Rules &

Experimental Biomimicry

Exploring the mechanics of natural tissues, organs, and organ systems using custom design, prototyping, and testing jigs for multi-functional performance comparisons.

Selected Publications:

Why the seahorse tail is square.

Science. 2015;349(6243):aaa6683.

3D-printing a “family” of biomimetic models to explain armored grasping in syngnathid fishes.

Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. 2017;12(6):066007.

Biomechanics of

Organismal Systems

Fabricating bio-inspired materials, structures, and machines via hybrid additive/subtractive manufacturing techniques to mimic selected design features of natural systems. 

Selected Publications:

External field assisted freeze casting.

Ceramics. 2019;2(1):208-34.

3D-printing and mechanics of bio-inspired articulated and multi-material structures.

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. 2017;73:114-26.

Materials Processing &

Advanced Manufacturing

Measuring in situ properties of microbial biopolymers in changing chemical, physical, and thermal environments for the production of bio-derived materials.  

Selected Publications:

Crystallization kinetics of polyhydroxybutyrate granules in different environmental conditions.

Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology. 2011;2(3):301-310.

Monitoring the in situ crystallization of native biopolyester granules in Ralstonia eutropha via infrared spectroscopy.

Journal of Microbiological Methods. 2011;87(1):49-55.

Monitoring Microbes in
Dynamic Environments


Biomimetics & Bioinspired Design

ME 4930/6930

Description: This course serves as an introduction to biology for engineers, reviewing general biology, anatomy, physiology, evolution, and the mechanics of biological materials, animal locomotion, grasping and other selected functions, focusing on the extraction of biomechanical principles from nature to inform the design and application of new materials, structures, and machines.


Biological Materials Science, by Meyers and Chen

Principles of Animal Locomotion, by Alexander

Materials Selection in Mechanical Design

ME 8610

Description: This course focuses on the concept of design in mechanical engineering, with an emphasis on how the properties, processing, form and function of different metallic, ceramic, polymeric, and composite materials guide the design and application of engineering products.


Materials Selection in Mechanical Design, by Ashby

Advanced Mechanics of Materials

ME 4320/6320

Description: This course focuses on developing an extended understanding of how materials behave under mechanical and thermal loading with an emphasis on three-dimensional stress, failure theories, contact mechanics, energy methods, buckling, non-symmetrical loading, elastic foundations, curved members, thick-walled vessels, and non-uniform cross-sections.


Advanced Mechanics of Materials, by Boresi and Schmidt

Mechanics of Materials

ME 2040

Description: This course describes the relationships between external loads on solid bodies or members and the resulting internal effects and dimension changes, including the derivation of rational formulas for stresses and deformations and the identification and use of important mechanical properties of engineering materials.


Mechanics of Materials, by Hibbeler

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Ceramics, 2(1): 208-234, 2019

Niksiar P, Su F, Frank M, Ogden T, Naleway S, Meyers M, McKittrick J, Porter MM

Microstructural evolution of paramagnetic materials by magnetic freeze casting

Journal of Materials Research and Technology, 2019 (accepted)

Niksiar P, Frank M, McKittrick J, Porter MM


Symposium on Computational Fabrication Proceedings, 3: 1-7, 2018

Moore E, Porter MM, Karamouzas I, Zordan V

Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 14(1), 016002, 2018

Mayerl C, Sansone A, Stevens L, Hall G, Porter MM, Rivera G, Blob R


Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 12(6): 066007, 2017

Porter MM, Ravikumar N

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 73: 1-126, 2017

Guest Editors: Porter MM, Barthelat F


A comparative study of piscine defense: The scales of Arapaima gigas, Latimeria chalumnae and Atractosteus spatula, 1-17

Sherman V, Quan H, Yang W, Ritchie R, Meyers M


The natural armors of fish: A comparison of the lamination pattern and structure of scales, 17-27

Murcia S, Lavoie E, Linley T, Devaraj A, Ossa E, Arola D


Mechanical properties of striped bass fish skin: Evidence of an exotendon function of the stratum compactum, 28-37

Szewciw L, Barthelat F


Spines of the porcupine fish: Structure, composition, and mechanical properties, 38-49

Su F, Bushong E, Deerinck T, Seo K, Herrera S, Graeve O, Kisailus D, Lubarda V, McKittrick J


The turtle carapace as an optimized multi-scale biological composite armor – A review, 50-67

Achrai B, Wagner H


Surface protection in bio-shields via a functional soft skin layer: Lessons from the turtle shell, 68-75

Shelef Y, Bar-On B


Climbing upstream: Multi-scale structural characterization and underwater adhesion of the Pulin river loach (Sinogastromyzon puliensis), 76-85

Chuang Y, Chang H, Liu G, Chen P


Mechanical behavior of idealized, stingray-skeleton-inspired tiled composites as a function of geometry and material properties, 86-101

Jayasankar A, Seidel R, Naumann J, Guiducci L, Hosny A, Fratzl P, Weaver J, Dunlop J, Dean M


Mechanical response of common millet (Panicum miliaceum) seeds under quasi-static compression: Experiments and modeling, 102-113

Hasseldine B, Gao C, Collins J, Jung H, Jang T, Song J, Li Y


3D-printing and mechanics of bio-inspired articulated and multi-material structures, 114-126

Porter MM, Ravikumar N, Barthelat F, Martini R

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 73: 114-126, 2017

Porter MM, Ravikumar N, Barthelat F, Martini R

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 76: 85-96, 2017

Novitskaya E, Ruestes C, Porter MM, Lubarda V, Meyers M, McKittrick J

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 76: 153-163, 2017

Frank M, Siu S, Karandikar K, Liu C, Naleway S, Porter MM, Graeve O, McKittrick J

Materials Science and Engineering: C, 77: 484-492, 2017

Frank M, Naleway S, Haroush T, Liu C, Siu S, Ng J, Torres I, Ismail A, Karandikar K, Porter MM, Graeve O, McKittrick J


Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 99(6): 1917-1926, 2016

Porter MM, Niksiar P, McKittrick J

Materials Science and Engineering: C, 59: 1143-1167, 2016

Naleway S, Taylor J, Porter MM, Meyers M, McKittrick J


Science, 349(6243): aaa6683, 2015

Porter MM, Adriaens D, Hatton R, Meyers M, McKittrick J

Advanced Materials, 27: 5455-5476, 2015

Naleway S, Porter MM, McKittrick J, Meyers M

Composite Structures, 119: 174-184, 2015

Porter MM, Meraz L, Calderon A, Choi H, Chouhan A, Wang L, Meyers M, McKittrick J

Acta Biomaterialia, 23: 1-10, 2015

Yang W, Naleway S, Porter MM, Meyers M, McKittrick J

Materials Science and Engineering: A, 636: 148-156, 2015

Li W, Porter MM, Olevsky E, German R, McKittrick J

Materials and Design, 71: 62-67, 2015

Naleway S, Yu C, Porter MM, Sengupta A, Iovine P, Meyers M, McKittrick J


Advanced Functional Materials, 24(14): 1978-1987, 2014

Porter MM, Imperio R, Wen M, Meyers M, McKittrick J

American Ceramic Society Bulletin, 93(5): 18-24, 2014

Porter MM, McKittrick J

Advances in Bioceramics and Biotechnologies: Ceramic Transactions, 247(1): 3-12, 2014

Chou P, Porter MM, McKittrick J, Chen P

Advances in Bioceramics and Biotechnologies: Ceramic Transactions, 247(6): 57-64, 2014

Manilay Z, Nguyen V, Novitskaya E, Porter MM, Castro-Ceseña A, McKittrick J