Lorna J. Gibson

  • Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • MacVicar Fellow
  • BASc University of Toronto, 1978
  • PhD University of Cambridge, 1981

Mechanical Behavior of Materials

Lorna J. Gibson

Research

Many materials have a cellular structure, with either a two-dimensional array of prismatic cells, as in a honeycomb, or a three-dimensional array of polyhedral cells, as in a foam. Engineering honeycombs and foams can now be made from nearly any material: polymers, metals, ceramics, glasses and composites, with pore sizes ranging from nanometers to millimeters. Their cellular structure gives rise to a unique combination of properties which are exploited in engineering design: their low weight make them attractive for structural sandwich panels, their ability to undergo large deformations at relatively low stresses make them ideal for absorbing the energy of impacts, their low thermal conductivity make them excellent insulators, and their high specific surface area make them attractive for substrates for catalysts for chemical reactions. Cellular materials are increasingly used in biomedical applications. Open-cell titantium foams are being developed to replace trabecular bone. Porous scaffolds for regeneration of damaged or diseased tissues often resemble an open-cell foam. Cellular materials are also widespread in nature in plant and animal tissues: examples include wood, cork, plant parenchyma, trabecular bone and lung alveoli.

Our group has contributed to the understanding of the mechanics of cellular solids, as well as to their use in many of the above applications. Recently completed projects include: the design and characterization of osteochondral scaffolds for the regeneration of cartilage as well as the underlying bone; the mechanics of fluid flow through open-cell foams for protection from impacts; and low thermal conductivity aerogels for building applications.  Current project include: structural bamboo products and the mechanics of balsa and balsa-inspired engineering materials.

Recent News

2017 Fall Wulff Lecture

  Fantastic Feather: Form and Function When we think of birds, we think of feathers. Feathers give birds their color, from the bright red of a male Cardinal to the iridescent reds and greens of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Feathers keep birds warm and dry: down…   more

School of Engineering awards for 2017

Lorna Gibson, the Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and a professor of mechanical engineering, won the Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching, given to a faculty member whose contributions have been characterized by dedication, care, and creativity. Mary…   more

MIT Awards Ceremony 2017

  Laya and Jerome B. Wiesner Student Art AwardsRachel Osmundsen ‘ 17  Earll M. Murman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising - Elsa Olivetti Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching…   more

Architected ceramics

MIT and Professor Lorna Gibson collaborated with two Engineering departments at Harvard University to develop a new method to 3D-print materials with significant absorbency using a ceramic foam ink. …   more

Professor Lorna Gibson receives Ellen Swallow Richards award from TMS

The 2017 TMS Ellen Swallow Richards Diversity Award will be presented to Professor Lorna Gibson at a conference this coming spring. This award recognizes an individual who, in the remarkable pioneering spirit of Ellen Swallow Richards, has helped or inspired others to overcome personal,…   more

Built to Peck

Lorna Gibson’s twin passions for birding and innovative instruction have generated a “first” for MITx: an eight-part, short-form video series designed for public viewing. “I’ve long wanted to do a project on how birds work from an engineering perspective,” says Gibson, a MacVicar Fellow…   more

Publications

2018

P. G. Dixon, Muth, J. T., Xiao, X., Skylar-Scott, M. A., Lewis, J. A., and Gibson, L. J., “3D printed structures for modeling the Young’s modulus of bamboo parenchyma”, Acta Biomaterialia, vol. 68. pp. 90-98, 2018.

2017

S. Malek and Gibson, L. J., “Multi-scale modelling of elastic properties of balsa”, International Journal of Solids and Structures, vol. 113-114. pp. 118-131, 2017.
P. G. Dixon, Malek, S., Semple, K. E., Zhang, P. K., Smith, G. D., and Gibson, L. J., “Multiscale Modelling of Moso Bamboo Oriented Strand Board”, BioResources, vol. 12. 2017.
S. Malek, Raney, J. R., Lewis, J. A., and Gibson, L. J., “Lightweight 3D cellular composites inspired by balsa”, Bioinspiration \& Biomimetics, vol. 12. p. 026014, 2017.
P. Ahvenainen, Dixon, P. G., Kallonen, A., Suhonen, H., Gibson, L. J., and Svedstrom, K., “Spatially-localized bench-top X-ray scattering reveals tissue-specific microfibril orientation in Moso bamboo”, Plant Methods, vol. 13. 2017.
J. T. Muth, Dixon, P. G., Woish, L., Gibson, L. J., and Lewis, J. A., “Architected cellular ceramics with tailored stiffness via direct foam writing”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 114. pp. 1832-1837, 2017.
P. Ahvenainen, Dixon, P. G., Kallonen, A., Suhonen, H., Gibson, L. J., and Svedstrom, K., “Spatially-localized bench-top X-ray scattering reveals tissue-specific microfibril orientation in Moso bamboo”, Plant Methods, vol. 13. p. 5, 2017.
P. G. Dixon, Malek, S., Semple, K. E., Zhang, P. K., Smith, G. D., and Gibson, L. J., “Multiscale Modelling of Moso Bamboo Oriented Strand Board”, Bioresources, vol. 12. pp. 3166-3181, 2017.

2015

S. Malek and Gibson, L. J., “Effective elastic properties of periodic hexagonal honeycombs”, Mechanics of Materials, vol. 91. pp. 226-240, 2015.
M. Borrega and Gibson, L. J., “Mechanics of balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) wood”, Mechanics of Materials, vol. 84. pp. 75-90, 2015.
C. S. Sample, Xu, A. K., Swartz, S. M., and Gibson, L. J., “Nanomechanical properties of wing membrane layers in the house cricket (Acheta domesticus Linnaeus)”, Journal of Insect Physiology, vol. 74. pp. 10-15, 2015.
M. Borrega, Ahvenainen, P., Serimaa, R., and Gibson, L. J., “Composition and structure of balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) wood”, Wood Science and Technology, vol. 49. pp. 403-420, 2015.

2014

P. G. Dixon and Gibson, L. J., “The structure and mechanics of Moso bamboo material”, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, vol. 11. 2014.
A. Neugebauer, Chen, K., Tang, A., Allgeier, A., Glicksman, L. R., and Gibson, L. J., “Thermal conductivity and characterization of compacted, granular silica aerogel”, Energy and Buildings, vol. 79. pp. 47-57, 2014.
K. Chen, Neugebauer, A., Goutierre, T., Tang, A., Glicksman, L., and Gibson, L. J., “Mechanical and thermal performance of aerogel-filled sandwich panels for building insulation”, Energy and Buildings, vol. 76. pp. 336-346, 2014.
C. S. Sample, Xu, A., Swartz, S. M., and Gibson, L. J., “Nanomechanical properties of insect wing layers”, Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 54. pp. E182 - E182, 2014.

2013

J. -M. Tulliani, Lombardi, M., Palmero, P., Fornabaio, M., and Gibson, L. J., “Development and mechanical characterization of novel ceramic foams fabricated by gel-casting”, Journal of the European Ceramic Society, vol. 33. pp. 1567-1576, 2013.

2011

L. J. Gibson and Ashby, M. F., “Cellular Materials in Nature”, Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 51. pp. E47 - E47, 2011.
C. Tekoglu, Gibson, L. J., Pardoen, T., and Onck, P. R., “Size effects in foams: Experiments and modeling”, Progress in Materials Science, vol. 56. pp. 109-138, 2011.

2009

M. A. Dawson, McKinley, G. H., and Gibson, L. J., “The Dynamic Compressive Response of an Open-Cell Foam Impregnated With a Non-Newtonian Fluid”, Journal of Applied Mechanics-Transactions of the Asme, vol. 76. 2009.

2008

M. A. Dawson, McKinley, G. H., and Gibson, L. J., “The dynamic compressive response of open-cell foam impregnated with a newtonian fluid”, Journal of Applied Mechanics-Transactions of the Asme, vol. 75. 2008.
B. P. Kanungo, Silva, E. C. C. M., Van Vliet, K. J., and Gibson, L. J., “Characterization of mineralized collagen-glycosaminoglycan scaffolds for bone regeneration”, Acta Biomaterialia, vol. 4. pp. 490-503, 2008.

2007

M. A. Dawson, Germaine, J. T., and Gibson, L. J., “Permeability of open-cell foams under compressive strain”, International Journal of Solids and Structures, vol. 44. pp. 5133-5145, 2007.

2006

L. J. Gibson, “Woodpecker pecking: how woodpeckers avoid brain injury”, Journal of Zoology, vol. 270. pp. 462-465, 2006.
M. A. Dawson and Gibson, L. J., “Biomimetics: extending nature\textquoterights design of thin-wall shells with cellular cores”, in Design and Nature III: Comparing Design in Nature with Science and Engineering, vol. 87, 2006, pp. 145-155.

2005

F. J. O\textquoterightBrien, Harley, B. A., Yannas, I. V., and Gibson, L. J., “The effect of pore size on cell adhesion in collagen-GAG scaffolds”, Biomaterials, vol. 26. pp. 433-441, 2005.

2004

S. M. Vickers, Johnson, L. L., Zou, L. Q., Yannas, I. V., Gibson, L. J., and Spector, M., “Expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin by and contraction of cells derived from synovium”, Tissue Engineering, vol. 10. pp. 1214-1223, 2004.
T. L. A. Moore, O\textquoterightBrien, F. J., and Gibson, L. J., “Creep does not contribute to fatigue in bovine trabecular bone”, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering-Transactions of the Asme, vol. 126. pp. 321-329, 2004.
P. Ganguly, Moore, T. L. A., and Gibson, L. J., “A phenomenological model for predicting fatigue life in bovine trabecular bone”, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering-Transactions of the Asme, vol. 126. pp. 330-339, 2004.
Y. S. Pek, Spector, M., Yannas, I. V., and Gibson, L. J., “Degradation of a collagen-chondroltin-6-sulfate matrix by collagenase and by chondroitinase”, Biomaterials, vol. 25. pp. 473-482, 2004.

2002

A. M. Makiyama, Vajjhala, S., and Gibson, L. J., “Analysis of crack growth in a 3D Voronoi structure: A model for fatigue in low density trabecular bone”, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering-Transactions of the Asme, vol. 124. pp. 512-520, 2002.
T. L. A. Moore and Gibson, L. J., “Microdamage accumulation in bovine trabecular bone in uniaxial compression.”, Journal of biomechanical engineering, vol. 124. pp. 63-71, 2002.
T. M. Freyman, Yannas, I. V., Yokoo, R., and Gibson, L. J., “Fibroblast contractile force is independent of the stiffness which resists the contraction”, Experimental Cell Research, vol. 272. pp. 153-162, 2002.

2001

T. L. A. Moore and Gibson, L. J., “Modeling modulus reduction in bovine trabecular bone damaged in compression”, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering-Transactions of the Asme, vol. 123. pp. 613-622, 2001.
T. M. Freyman, Yannas, I. V., Yokoo, R., and Gibson, L. J., “Fibroblast contraction of a collagen-GAG matrix”, Biomaterials, vol. 22. pp. 2883-2891, 2001.
J. M. Zaleskas, Kinner, B., Freyman, T. M., Yannas, I. V., Gibson, L. J., and Spector, M., “Growth factor regulation of smooth muscle actin expression and contraction of human articular chondrocytes and meniscal cells in a collagen-GAG matrix”, Experimental Cell Research, vol. 270. pp. 21-31, 2001.
T. M. Freyman, Yannas, I. V., Pek, Y. S., Yokoo, R., and Gibson, L. J., “Micromechanics of fibroblast contraction of a collagen-GAG matrix”, Experimental Cell Research, vol. 269. pp. 140-153, 2001.

2000

S. Vajjhala, Kraynik, A. M., and Gibson, L. J., “A cellular solid model for modulus reduction due to resorption of trabeculae in bone”, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering-Transactions of the Asme, vol. 122. pp. 511-515, 2000.
T. C. Lee, Arthur, T. L., Gibson, L. J., and Hayes, W. C., “Sequential labelling of microdamage in bone using chelating agents”, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, vol. 18. pp. 322-325, 2000.

1999

S. M. Bowman, Gibson, L. J., Hayes, W. C., and McMahon, T. A., “Results from demineralized bone creep tests suggest that collagen is responsible for the creep behavior of bone”, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering-Transactions of the Asme, vol. 121. pp. 253-258, 1999.

1998

S. M. Bowman et al., “Creep contributes to the fatigue behavior of bovine trabecular bone”, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering-Transactions of the Asme, vol. 120. pp. 647-654, 1998.

1997

M. J. Silva and Gibson, L. J., “Modeling the mechanical behavior of vertebral trabecular bone: Effects of age-related changes in microstructure”, Bone, vol. 21. pp. 191-199, 1997.

1996

A. C. Courtney, Hayes, W. C., and Gibson, L. J., “Age-related differences in post-yield damage in human cortical bone. Experiment and model”, Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 29. pp. 1463-1471, 1996.
S. M. Bowman, Zeind, J., Gibson, L. J., Hayes, W. C., and McMahon, T. A., “The tensile behavior of demineralized bovine cortical bone”, Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 29. pp. 1497-1501, 1996.

1995

R. E. BORCHERS, Gibson, L. J., BURCHARDT, H., and HAYES, W. C., “EFFECTS OF SELECTED THERMAL VARIABLES ON THE MECHANICAL-PROPERTIES OF TRABECULAR BONE”, Biomaterials, vol. 16. pp. 545-551, 1995.

1994

S. M. BOWMAN, KEAVENY, T. M., Gibson, L. J., HAYES, W. C., and MCMAHON, T. A., “COMPRESSIVE CREEP-BEHAVIOR OF BOVINE TRABECULAR BONE”, Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 27. p. 301 - &, 1994.
X. D. E. GUO, MCMAHON, T. A., KEAVENY, T. M., HAYES, W. C., and Gibson, L. J., “FINITE-ELEMENT MODELING OF DAMAGE ACCUMULATION IN TRABECULAR BONE UNDER CYCLIC LOADING”, Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 27. pp. 145-155, 1994.
H. M. LOREE, TOBIAS, B. J., Gibson, L. J., KAMM, R. D., SMALL, D. M., and LEE, R. T., “MECHANICAL-PROPERTIES OF MODEL ATHEROSCLEROTIC LESION LIPID POOLS”, Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis, vol. 14. pp. 230-234, 1994.
H. M. LOREE, GRODZINSKY, A. J., PARK, S. Y., Gibson, L. J., and LEE, R. T., “STATIC CIRCUMFERENTIAL TANGENTIAL MODULUS OF HUMAN ATHEROSCLEROTIC TISSUE”, Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 27. pp. 195-204, 1994.

1993

T. M. KEAVENY, BORCHERS, R. E., Gibson, L. J., and HAYES, W. C., “TRABECULAR BONE MODULUS AND STRENGTH CAN DEPEND ON SPECIMEN GEOMETRY”, Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 26. p. 991 - &, 1993.
M. C. MICHEL, GUO, X. D. E., Gibson, L. J., MCMAHON, T. A., and HAYES, W. C., “COMPRESSIVE FATIGUE BEHAVIOR OF BOVINE TRABECULAR BONE”, Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 26. pp. 453-463, 1993.
T. M. KEAVENY, BORCHERS, R. E., Gibson, L. J., and HAYES, W. C., “THEORETICAL-ANALYSIS OF THE EXPERIMENTAL ARTIFACT IN TRABECULAR BONE COMPRESSIVE MODULUS”, Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 26. pp. 599-607, 1993.

1985

L. J. Gibson, “THE MECHANICAL-BEHAVIOR OF CANCELLOUS BONE”, Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 18. p. 317 - &, 1985.