Elastic mechanisms can be found across the tree of life and are involved in some of the most impressive organismal movements. It is because of elastic mechanisms that the slow work generated by a mantis shrimp muscle is converted into an explosive, underwater strike with acceleration equivalent to a bullet out of a gun and that the gravitational energy of an airborne kangaroo is returned as an efficient upward bounce upon landing, reducing the energetic requirements of hopping by up to 38%.
Elastic structures, which are found across the tree of life at multiple scales, play a large role in determining organismal movement. My research focuses on understanding 1) what determines the elasticity of a biological structure and 2) how does elasticity interact with the muscles to which they connect to define movement. By combining physical testing with computational modeling, my research probes the universal principles of energy storage in the context of movement.
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