, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 19–24 | Cite as

The cutting edge: Sharp biological materials

  • M. A. MeyersEmail author
  • A. Y. M. Lin
  • Y. S. Lin
  • E. A. Olevsky
  • S. Georgalis
Overview Biological Materials Science


Through hundreds of millions of years of evolution, organisms have developed a myriad of ingenious solutions to ensure and optimize survival and success. Biological materials that comprise organisms are synthesized at ambient temperature and pressure and mostly in aqueous environments. This process, mediated by proteins, limits the range of materials at the disposal of nature and therefore the design plays a pivotal role. This article focuses on sharp edges and serrations as important survival and predating mechanisms in a number of plants, insects, fishes, and mammals. Some plants have sharp edges covered with serrations. The proboscis of mosquitoes and stinger of bees are examples in insects. Serrations are a prominent feature in many fish teeth, and rodents have teeth that are sharpened continuously, ensuring their sharpness and efficacy. Some current bioinspired applications will also be reviewed.


Sharp Edge Titanium Nitride White Shark Tiger Shark Sharp Tooth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© TMS 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Meyers
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Y. M. Lin
    • 1
  • Y. S. Lin
    • 3
    • 4
  • E. A. Olevsky
    • 2
  • S. Georgalis
    • 5
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.San Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.University of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.San Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.Modern MarvelsHistory ChannelNew YorkUSA

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