The mistletoe-host interface as model for long-term integrity by damage prevention and repair
In my current project, I am abstracting the knowledge gained about the functional mechanisms (superimposed gradients, redundant anchoring structures, etc.) for damage prevention of European mistletoe (Viscum album) and its connection to the host through FE simulations, with the aim of implementing them in multi-material systems with high longevity potential.
Prof. Dr. Chris Eberl
Abscission and self-repair in biological and artificial materials systems
In the framework of a biomimetic bottom-up approach my research aim is to conduct in-depth morphological, anatomical and biomechanical analyses of suitable role models in order to learn exemplarily from bonding, debonding and self-repair of biological materials systems.
Through interdisciplinary collaborations with project partners, we will be able to carry out modelling and simulations, design and manufacture technical materials systems, and create material ontologies.
In my cumulative dissertation, I investigated damage control in the plant kingdom (Speck, Langer, Mylo, 2021). This includes preventing mechanical damage and dealing with any damage that occurs. As a model organism for damage prevention, we have anatomically/morphologically (Mylo et al., 2021a) and mechanically (Mylo et al., 2022a) characterized the hemiparasitic European mistletoe (Viscum album) and its long-lasting connection to the host tree. For the damage management analyses, we worked with two Opuntia species (Opuntia ficus-indica and Cylindropuntia bigelovii), a subfamily of cacti. These were characterized with regard to their self-repair properties (Mylo et al., 2020) and their ability to shed branches for vegetative reproduction under low mechanical forces (abscission), using morphometric measurements, MRI scans, light microscopical imaging (Mylo et al., 2021b) and tensile testing on insolated tissues and entire plant organs (Mylo et al., 2022b).
Dissertation link: https://freidok.uni-freiburg.de/fedora/objects/freidok:231805/datastreams/FILE1/content
Dr. Olga Speck