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The Exoskeleton of Scorpions: from Structure to Mechanical Function

Part of:
- Poster The versatile usage of wrinkled surfaces 1 Dr. Bernhard Alexander Glatz
- Poster Penguin feather mimicking oil infused elastomer for anti-icing property 1 Dipl.-Ing. Nguyen Thanh-Binh
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- Poster Tobacco mosaic virus disks, preparation of samples to investigate mineralization by low voltage electron microscopy 1 Dr. Sabine Eiben
- Poster Deformation of Liquid-Liquid Phase Boundary as Template for Novel Surface Structured Polymer Particles and Coatings 1 Helena vom Stein
- Poster Sclerenchymatic tissue in Banksia follicles – The effect of moisture on dimensional and mechanical properties 1 Friedrich Reppe
- Poster Reconstructing in-situ nanofibrillar orientation and mechanics in arthropod cuticle using X-ray diffraction modelling 1 Ph.D. Yanhong Wang
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- Poster Damping Behaviour of Bioinspired and Natural Fibre Composites 1 Wilhelm Woigk
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- Poster Multiscale simulations of directed spider dragline silk self-assembly by flow 1 Dipl.-Ing. Ana Herrera
- Poster Inspirational Multiscale Natural Structures 1 Dr. XiaoMeng Sui
- Poster The Exoskeleton of Scorpions: from Structure to Mechanical Function 1 Israel Kellersztein
- Poster Investigating the multilayer fiber-reinforced structure of the wood cell using computer simulations and additive manufacturing 1 Laura Zorzetto
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- Poster Controlled Modification on Wood via SI-ATRP 1 Marta Vidiella del Blanco
- Poster Plant Biomimetics: Surface-Structured Pollen Particles and Transparent Flower Petals 1 Prof. Dr. Olaf Karthaus
- Poster Coupling of polymers to tobacco mosaic virus: towards the production of amphiphilic virus tubes 1 Dr. Sabine Eiben
- Poster Mechanical stable sulfobetainc Hydrogels - A candidate for biomedical application 1 Ramona Bianca Jasmin Ihlenburg
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- Poster Fibers, Yarns and Non-Woven Meshes – Tough Morphologies Made of Recombinant Spider Silk Proteins 1 Fabian Müller
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- Poster Cuttlebone-inspired Structures for Mechanical Damping 1 Dipl.-Ing. Andrea Knöller

Session P.1: Poster discussion evening
Belongs to:
Session P: Poster Presentation

Along with the marine crustaceans - lobsters and crabs - scorpions belong to the phylum of arthropods, invertebrate animals having an external skeleton consisting of a stiff and strong material - the cuticle. The arthropod’s cuticle has become a fundamental topic of study in the field of bioinspired materials due to its multifunctionality. Moreover, the cuticle structural configuration, comprising stiff chitin fibers embedded in a tough protein matrix with a certain degree of mineralization, has emerged as a novel approach in the preparation of innovative structural composite materials [1]–[3]. The multifunctionality of scorpion chela (pincers) cuticle in particular, (e.g. defense, prey handling, and excavation, among others) leads to the development of a variety of types and distributions of mechanical stress. In the scorpion, the chela comprises the tibia (immovable finger and the base of the chela) and the tarsus (movable finger), with morphology varying among scorpion species.

The core objective of this research is to investigate the relationship between structure, mechanical properties and functionality of the cuticle of the scorpion chela. In this study, we have defined for the first time, the hierarchical structure of the scorpion chela cuticle in Scorpio Maurus Palmatus using a number of test methods such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Moreover, the defense behavior of the chela cuticle has been characterized using the nanoindentation technique. These experimental approaches allow to visually understand the cuticle arrangement at different scales, and clarify why nature has created this kind of structures which are essential to the chela functionality.


[1] M. A. Meyers and P. Y. Chen, Biological Material Science: Biological Materials, Bioinspired Materials, and Biomaterials. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

[2] J. F. V Vincent, “Arthropod cuticle: A natural composite shell system,” Compos. Part A Appl. Sci. Manuf., vol. 33, no. 10, pp. 1311–1315, 2002.

[3] P. Egan, R. Sinko, P. R. LeDuc, and S. Keten, “The role of mechanics in biological and bio-inspired systems,” Nat. Commun., vol. 6, no. May, p. 7418, 2015.


Israel Kellersztein
Weizmann Institute of Science
Additional Authors:
  • Prof. H. Daniel Wagner
    Weizmann Institute of Science

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