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Institute of Bioengineering

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Dr Himadri Gupta

Reader in Bioengineering and Biophysics

Department School of Engineering and Materials Science

IoB Highlights

X-ray nanomechanics of hierarchical biomaterials

Key strengths, technologies, know-how

  • In situ synchrotron X-ray nanomechanics
  • Fibrillar and molecular deformation mechanisms in biological and biomimetic materials 
  • Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS)
  • Wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD)
  • Molecular and supramolecular architecture of biocomposites using SAXS/WAXD
  • Microfocus X-ray scattering and diffraction
  • Scanning synchrotron microprobe methods
  • Micromechanics of biological tissues
  • Multiscale modelling of hierarchical composites


  • Nanoscale fracture in osteoporosis
  • Nanomechanics of osteoarthritic cartilage
  • Drug efficacy in osteoporosis & osteoarthritis
  • Tough light composites through architecture
  • Stimuli-responsive biomaterials
  • Nanomechanics of engineered biomaterials
  • Mechanics of the implant/tissue interface

Selective research achievements

  • Number of papers = 51
  • H-index = 24
  • Over £500k of synchrotron beamtime (incl. Diamond Light Source and ESRF)
  • Joint PI for new Hard X-ray nanoprobe beamline at Diamond Synchrotron

Research Interests



Xi L, De Falco P, Barbieri E, Karunaratne A, Bentley L, Esapa CT, Davis GR, Terrill NJ, Cox RD, Pugno NM, Thakker RV, Weinkamer R, Wu WW, Fang DN and Gupta HS (2019). Reduction of fibrillar strain-rate sensitivity in steroid-induced osteoporosis linked to changes in mineralized fibrillar nanostructure. Elsevier  Bone  vol. 131, 10.1016/j.bone.2019.115111

Wang Y, Zhang Y, Terrill NJ, Barbieri E, Pugno NM and Gupta HS (2019). Matrix-induced pre-strain and mineralization-dependent interfibrillar shear transfer enable 3D fibrillar deformation in a biogenic armour. Elsevier  Acta Biomaterialia  10.1016/j.actbio.2019.09.036

Inamdar SR, Barbieri E, Terrill NJ, Knight MM and Gupta HS (2019). Proteoglycan degradation mimics static compression by altering the natural gradients in fibrillar organisation in cartilage. Elsevier  Acta Biomaterialia  vol. 97, 437-450. 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.07.055


Xi L, De Falco P, Barbieri E, Karunaratne A, Bentley L, Esapa CT, Terrill NJ, Brown SDM, Cox RD, Davis GR, Pugno NM, Thakker RV and Gupta HS (2018). Bone matrix development in steroid-induced osteoporosis is associated with a consistently reduced fibrillar stiffness linked to altered bone mineral quality. Acta Biomaterialia  vol. 76, 295-307. 10.1016/j.actbio.2018.05.053

Kundanati L, Signetti S, Gupta HS, Menegon M and Pugno NM (2018). Multilayer stag beetle elytra perform better under external loading via non-symmetric bending properties. J R Soc Interface  vol. 15, (144) 10.1098/rsif.2018.0427

Gupta HS, Szulgit G, Elphick MR and Mo J (2018). Unlocking the secrets of mutable collagenous tissue. Biochemist  vol. 40, (1) 8-11.


Inamdar SR, Knight DP, Terrill NJ, Karunaratne A, Cacho-Nerin F, Knight MM and Gupta HS (2017). The Secret Life of Collagen: Temporal Changes in Nanoscale Fibrillar Pre-Strain and Molecular Organization During Physiological Loading of Cartilage. Acs Nano  10.1021/acsnano.7b00563

Zhang Y, De Falco P, Wang Y, Barbieri E, Paris O, Terrill NJ, Falkenberg G, Pugno NM and Gupta HS (2017). Towards in situ determination of 3D strain and reorientation in the interpenetrating nanofibre networks of cuticle. Nanoscale  10.1039/c7nr02139a

Blowes LM, Egertova M, Liu Y, Davis GR, Terrill NJ, Gupta HS and ELPHICK MR (2017). Body wall structure in the starfish Asterias rubens. Wiley  Journal of Anatomy  10.1111/joa.12646

De Falco P, Barbieri E, Pugno N and Gupta HS (2017). Staggered Fibrils and Damageable Interfaces Lead Concurrently and Independently to Hysteretic Energy Absorption and Inhomogeneous Strain Fields in Cyclically Loaded Antler Bone. Acs Biomaterials Science & Engineering  10.1021/acsbiomaterials.6b00637

Gupta HS and Screen HRC (2017). Structural building blocks of soft tissues: Tendons and heart valves. Cism International Centre For Mechanical Sciences, Courses and Lectures  10.1007/978-3-319-45071-1_1


Mo J, Prévost SF, Blowes LM, Egertová M, Terrill NJ, Wang W, Elphick MR and Gupta HS (2016). Interfibrillar stiffening of echinoderm mutable collagenous tissue demonstrated at the nanoscale. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A  10.1073/pnas.1609341113

Zhang Y, Paris O, Terrill NJ and Gupta HS (2016). Uncovering three-dimensional gradients in fibrillar orientation in an impact-resistant biological armour. Nature Publishing Group: Open Access Journals - Option C  Scientific Reports  vol. 6, 26249-26249. 10.1038/srep26249

Karunaratne A, Xi L, Bentley L, Sykes D, Boyde A, Esapa CT, Terrill NJ, Brown SDM, Cox RD, Thakker RV and Gupta HS (2016). Multiscale alterations in bone matrix quality increased fragility in steroid induced osteoporosis. Bone  vol. 84, 15-24. 10.1016/j.bone.2015.11.019


Patel IF, Kiryukhin MV, Yakovlev NL, Gupta HS and Sukhorukov GB (2015). Naturally inspired polyelectrolyte multilayer composite films synthesised through layer-by-layer assembly and chemically infiltrated with CaCO3. Journal of Materials Chemistry B  vol. 3, (24) 4821-4830. 10.1039/c5tb00055f


Hang F, Gupta HS and BARBER AH (2014). Nanointerfacial strength between non-collagenous protein and collagen fibrils in antler bone. Royal Society Publishing  Journal of The Royal Society Interface  vol. 11, (92) 10.1098/rsif.2013.0993

Guerette PA, Z. Tay G, Hoon S, Loke JJ, Hermawan AF, Schmitt CNZ, Harrington MJ, Masic A, Karunaratne A, Gupta HS, Tan KS, Schwaighofer A, Nowak C and Miserez A (2014). Integrative and comparative analysis of coiled-coil based marine snail egg cases - A model for biomimetic elastomers. Biomaterials Science  vol. 2, (5) 710-722. 10.1039/c3bm60264h


Gupta HS, Krauss S, Kerschnitzki M, Karunaratne A, Dunlop JWC, Barber AH, Boesecke P, Funari SS and Fratzl P (2013). Intrafibrillar plasticity through mineral/collagen sliding is the dominant mechanism for the extreme toughness of antler bone. Journal of The Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials  vol. 28, 366-382. 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2013.03.020

Karunaratne A, Boyde A, Esapa CT, Hiller J, Terrill NJ, Brown SDM, Cox RD, Thakker RV and Gupta HS (2013). Symmetrically reduced stiffness and increased extensibility in compression and tension at the mineralized fibrillar level in rachitic bone. Bone  vol. 52, (2) 689-698. 10.1016/j.bone.2012.10.029

Karunaratne A, Terrill NJ and Gupta HS (2013). Synchrotron X-ray nanomechanical imaging of mineralized fiber composites. Methods Enzymol  vol. 532, 415-473. 10.1016/B978-0-12-416617-2.00019-9


Harrington MJ, Wasko SS, Masic A, Fischer FD, Gupta HS and Fratzl P (2012). Pseudoelastic behaviour of a natural material is achieved via reversible changes in protein backbone conformation. Journal of The Royal Society Interface  vol. 9, (76) 2911-2922. 10.1098/rsif.2012.0310

Karunaratne A, Davis GR, Hiller J, Esapa CT, Terrill NJ, Brown SDM, Cox RD, Thakker RV and Gupta HS (2012). Hypophosphatemic rickets is associated with disruption of mineral orientation at the nanoscale in the flat scapula bones of rachitic mice with development. Bone  vol. 51, (3) 553-562. 10.1016/j.bone.2012.04.021

Stachewicz U, Hang F, Bailey RJ, Gupta HS, Frogley MD, Cinque G and Barber AH (2012). Recording IR spectra for individual electrospun fibers using an in situ AFM-synchrotron technique. Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings  vol. 1424, 19-23. 10.1557/opl.2012.151

Anssari-Benam A, Gupta HS and Screen HRC (2012). Strain transfer through the aortic valve. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering  vol. 134, (6) 10.1115/1.4006812

Karunaratne A, Esapa CR, Hiller J, Boyde A, Head R, Bassett JHD, Terrill NJ, Williams GR, Brown MA, Croucher PI, Brown SDM, Cox RD, Barber AH, Thakker RV and Gupta HS (2012). Significant deterioration in nanomechanical quality occurs through incomplete extrafibrillar mineralization in rachitic bone: Evidence from in-situ synchrotron X-ray scattering and backscattered electron imaging. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research  vol. 27, (4) 876-890. 10.1002/jbmr.1495

Seto J, Busse B, Gupta HS, Schäfer C, Krauss S, Dunlop JWC, Masic A, Kerschnitzki M, Zaslansky P, Boesecke P, Catalá-Lehnen P, Schinke T, Fratzl P and Jahnen-Dechent W (2012). Accelerated growth plate mineralization and foreshortened proximal limb bones in fetuin-A knockout mice. Plos One  vol. 7, (10) 10.1371/journal.pone.0047338


Screen HRC, Seto J, Krauss S, Boesecke P and Gupta HS (2011). Extrafibrillar diffusion and intrafibrillar swelling at the nanoscale are associated with stress relaxation in the soft collagenous matrix tissue of tendons. Soft Matter  vol. 7, (23) 11243-11251. 10.1039/c1sm05656e

Wang R and Gupta HS (2011). Deformation and fracture mechanisms of bone and nacre. Annual Review of Materials Research  vol. 41, 41-73. 10.1146/annurev-matsci-062910-095806

Seidel R, Gourrier A, Kerschnitzki M, Burghammer M, Fratzl P, Gupta HS and Wagermaier W (2011). Synchrotron 3D SAXS analysis of bone nanostructure. Bioinspired, Biomimetic and Nanobiomaterials  vol. 1, 123-131. 10.1680/bbn.11.00014


Gupta HS, Seto J, Krauss S, Boesecke P and Screen HRC (2010). In situ multi-level analysis of viscoelastic deformation mechanisms in tendon collagen. Journal of Structural Biology  vol. 169, (2) 183-191. 10.1016/j.jsb.2009.10.002


Neira IS, Kolen'ko YV, Lebedev OI, Van Tendeloo G, Gupta HS, Matsushita N, Yoshimura M and Guitián F (2009). Rational synthesis of a nanocrystalline calcium phosphate cement exhibiting rapid conversion to hydroxyapatite. Materials Science and Engineering C  vol. 29, (7) 2124-2132. 10.1016/j.msec.2009.04.011

Harrington MJ, Gupta HS, Fratzl P and Waite JH (2009). Collagen insulated from tensile damage by domains that unfold reversibly: In situ X-ray investigation of mechanical yield and damage repair in the mussel byssus. Journal of Structural Biology  vol. 167, (1) 47-54. 10.1016/j.jsb.2009.03.001

Krauss S, Fratzl P, Seto J, Currey JD, Estevez JA, Funari SS and Gupta HS (2009). Inhomogeneous fibril stretching in antler starts after macroscopic yielding: Indication for a nanoscale toughening mechanism. Bone  vol. 44, (6) 1105-1110. 10.1016/j.bone.2009.02.009

Fratzl P, Gupta HS, Roschger P and Klaushofer K (2009). Nanomedicine. Nanomedicine , Editors: Vogel V, Schmid G, Krug H, Waser R and Fuchs H. Vch Pub 

Gupta H, Krauss S, Seto J, Wagermaier W, Kerschnitzki M, Benecke G, Zaslansky P, Boesecke P, Funari SS, Kirchner HOK and Fratzl P (2009). Nanoscale deformation mechanisms in bone. Bone  vol. 44, S33-S34. 10.1016/j.bone.2009.01.084

Benecke G, Kerschnitzki M, Fratzl P and Gupta HS (2009). Digital image correlation shows localized deformation bands in inelastic loading of fibrolamellar bone. Journal of Materials Research  vol. 24, (2) 421-429. 10.1557/jmr.2009.0064

Neira IS, Kolen'ko YV, Lebedev OI, Van Tendeloo G, Gupta HS, Guitian F and Yoshimura M (2009). An Effective Morphology Control of Hydroxyapatite Crystals via Hydrothermal Synthesis. Cryst Growth Des  vol. 9, (1) 466-474. 10.1021/cg800738a


Gupta HS (2008). Nanoscale deformation mechanisms in collagen. 10.1007/978-0-387-73906-9_7

Gupta HS and Zioupos P (2008). Fracture of bone tissue: The 'hows' and the 'whys'. Medical Engineering and Physics  vol. 30, (10) 1209-1226. 10.1016/j.medengphy.2008.09.007

Seto J, Gupta HS, Zaslansky P, Wagner HD and Fratzl P (2008). Tough lessons from bone: Extreme mechanical anisotropy at the mesoscale. Advanced Functional Materials  vol. 18, (13) 1905-1911. 10.1002/adfm.200800214

Gupta HS (2008). Collagen: Structure and Mechanics. Collagen , Editors: Fratzl P. Springer Verlag 

Fratzl P and Gupta HS (2008). Nanoscale Mechanisms of Bone Deformation and Fracture. 10.1002/9783527619443.ch23


Fratzl P, Gupta HS, Fischer FD and Kolednik O (2007). Hindered crack propagation in materials with periodically varying young's modulus - Lessons from biological materials. Advanced Materials  vol. 19, (18) 2657-2661. 10.1002/adma.200602394

Kazanci M, Wagner HD, Manjubala NI, Gupta HS, Paschalis E, Roschger P and Fratzl P (2007). Raman imaging of two orthogonal planes within cortical bone. Bone  vol. 41, (3) 456-461. 10.1016/j.bone.2007.04.200

Gupta HS, Fratzl P, Kerschnitzki M, Benecke G, Wagermaier W and Kirchner HOK (2007). Evidence for an elementary process in bone plasticity with an activation enthalpy of 1 eV. Journal of The Royal Society Interface  vol. 4, (13) 277-282. 10.1098/rsif.2006.0172

Gourrier A, Wagermaier W, Burghammer M, Lammie D, Gupta HS, Fratzl P, Riekel C, Wess TJ and Paris O (2007). Scanning X-ray imaging with small-angle scattering contrast. Journal of Applied Crystallography  vol. 40, (SUPPL. 1) 10.1107/S0021889807006693

Wagermaier W, Gupta HS, Gourrier A, Paris O, Roschger P, Burghammer M, Riekel C and Fratzl P (2007). Scanning texture analysis of lamellar bone using microbeam synchrotron X-ray radiation. Journal of Applied Crystallography  vol. 40, (1) 115-120. 10.1107/S0021889806044888

Gupta HS and Fratzl P (2007). Handbook of Biomineralization: . Biological aspects and structure formation. Handbook of Biomineralization: . Biological Aspects and Structure Formation , Editors: Bäeuerlein E, Behrens P and Epple M. Vch Pub 


Gupta HS, Seto J, Wagermaier W, Zaslansky P, Boesecke P and Fratzl P (2006). Cooperative deformation of mineral and collagen in bone at the nanoscale. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A  vol. 103, (47) 17741-17746. 10.1073/pnas.0604237103

Gupta HS, Stachewicz U, Wagermaier W, Roschger P, Wagner HD and Fratzl P (2006). Mechanical modulation at the lamellar level in osteonal bone. Journal of Materials Research  vol. 21, (8) 1913-1921. 10.1557/jmr.2006.0234

Gupta HS, Wagermaier W, Zickler GA, Hartmann J, Funari SS, Roschger P, Wagner DH and Fratzl P (2006). Fibrillar level fracture in bone beyond the yield point. International Journal of Fracture  vol. 139, (3-4) 425-436. 10.1007/s10704-006-6635-y

Wagermaier W, Gupta HS, Gourrier A, Burghammer M, Roschger P and Fratzl P (2006). Spiral twisting of fiber orientation inside bone lamellae. Biointerphases  vol. 1, (1) 1-5. 10.1116/1.2178386


Gehrke N, Nassif N, Pinna N, Antonietti M, Gupta HS and Cölfen H (2005). Retrosynthesis of nacre via amorphous precursor particles. Chemistry of Materials  vol. 17, (26) 6514-6516. 10.1021/cm052150k

Gupta HS, Wagermaier W, Zickler GA, Aroush DRB, Funari SS, Roschger P, Wagner HD and Fratzl P (2005). Nanoscale deformation mechanisms in bone. Nano Letters  vol. 5, (10) 2108-2111. 10.1021/nl051584b

Fratzl P, Gupta HS, Paris O, Valenta A, Roschger P and Klaushofer K (2005). Diffracting stacks of cards - Some thoughts about small-angle scattering from bone. Progress in Colloid and Polymer Science  vol. 130, 33-39. 10.1007/b107343

Gupta HS, Schratter S, Tesch W, Roschger P, Berzlanovich A, Schoeberl T, Klaushofer K and Fratzl P (2005). Two different correlations between nanoindentation modulus and mineral content in the bone-cartilage interface. Journal of Structural Biology  vol. 149, (2) 138-148. 10.1016/j.jsb.2004.10.010


Fratzl P, Burgert I and Gupta HS (2004). On the role of interface polymers for the mechanics of natural polymeric composites. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics  vol. 6, (24) 5575-5579. 10.1039/b411986j

Gindl W, Gupta HS, Schöberl T, Lichtenegger HC and Fratzl P (2004). Mechanical properties of spruce wood cell walls by nanoindentation. Applied Physics a: Materials Science and Processing  vol. 79, (8) 2069-2073. 10.1007/s00339-004-2864-y

Gupta HS, Messmer P, Roschger P, Bernstorff S, Klaushofer K and Fratzl P (2004). Synchrotron diffraction study of deformation mechanisms in mineralized tendon. Physical Review Letters  vol. 93, (15) 10.1103/PhysRevLett.93.158101

Fratzl P, Gupta HS, Paschalis EP and Roschger P (2004). Structure and mechanical quality of the collagen-mineral nano-composite in bone. Journal of Materials Chemistry  vol. 14, (14) 2115-2123. 10.1039/b402005g

Weinkamer R, Fratzl P, Gupta HS, Penrose O and Lebowitz JL (2004). Using kinetic Monte Carlo simulations to study phase separation in alloys. Phase Transitions  vol. 77, (5-7) 433-456. 10.1080/01411590410001672639


Schöberl T, Gupta HS and Fratzl P (2003). Measurements of mechanical properties in Ni-base superalloys using nanoindentation and atomic force microscopy. Materials Science and Engineering A  vol. 363, (1-2) 211-220. 10.1016/S0921-5093(03)00627-0

Gupta HS, Roschger P, Zizak I, Fratzl-Zelman N, Nader A, Klaushofer K and Fratzl P (2003). Mineralized microstructure of calcified avian tendons: A scanning small angle X-ray scattering study. Calcified Tissue International  vol. 72, (5) 567-576. 10.1007/s00223-002-1031-8

Roschger P, Gupta HS, Berzlanovich A, Ittner G, Dempster DW, Fratzl P, Cosman F, Parisien M, Lindsay R, Nieves JW and Klaushofer K (2003). Constant mineralization density distribution in cancellous human bone. Bone  vol. 32, (3) 316-323. 10.1016/S8756-3282(02)00973-0

Schöberl T and Gupta HS (2003). Effect of interphase boundaries on nanoindentation experiments on a Ni-base alloy. Zeitschrift Fuer Metallkunde/Materials Research and Advanced Techniques  vol. 94, (7) 813-818. 10.3139/146.030813


Gindl W, Gupta HS and Grunwald C (2002). Lignification of spruce tracheid secondary cell walls related to longitudinal hardness and modulus of elasticity using nano-indentation. Can J Bot  vol. 80, (10) 1029-1033. 10.1139/B02-091

Gindl W and Gupta HS (2002). Cell-wall hardness and Young's modulus of melamine-modified spruce wood by nano-indentation. Composites Part a: Applied Science and Manufacturing  vol. 33, (8) 1141-1145. 10.1016/S1359-835X(02)00080-5


Gupta H, Weinkamer R, Fratzl P and Lebowitz JL (2001). Microscopic computer simulations of directional coarsening in face-centered cubic alloys. Elsevier  Acta Materialia  vol. 49, (1) 53-63. 10.1016/S1359-6454(00)00303-7

Weinkamer R, Gupta H, Lebowitz JL and Fratzl P (2001). Precipitate size distribution in alloys with and without lattice misfit. Zeitschrift Fuer Metallkunde/Materials Research and Advanced Techniques  vol. 92, (1) 9-13.


Weinkamer R, Gupta H, Fratzl P and Lebowitz JL (2000). Dynamics of mesoscopic precipitate lattices in phase-separating alloys under external load. Europhysics Letters  vol. 52, (2) 224-230. 10.1209/epl/i2000-00427-7

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