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Looking for a post-doc or visiting scholar position in the relevant field of mechanics of biological materials at different length scales


Name: Karanvir Saini


I recently completed my Ph.D. at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar, India at Bio-Nano-Mechanical Characterization (BNMC) Laboratory. My thesis work focused on the mechanical characterization of collagen protein at small length scales using computational and experimental methods. Prior to Ph.D., I completed Masters in Design Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, India with thesis work incorporating methods like Finite Element modeling and Analytical modeling.

Collagen protein is the basic structural element in almost all of the biological materials existing in nature. The knowledge of mechanical behavior of collagen at small length scales can be very helpful in understanding the mechanical response of various biological materials as well as designing new materials using bio-mimetics. I used computational as well as experimental approaches to predict the physical response of the individual collagen molecule as well as assemblies of collagen molecules (type-I). Computational approach included the full atomistic modeling technique as well as the comparison of obtained results with the continuum linear elasicity theory. For atomistic modeling, I also extended CHARMM force-field to incorporate the parameters for Hydroxy-Proline (HYP) residue of collagen molecule which are not generally present in currently available force-fields. For conducting experiments, the bovine bone samples with high surface finish were selected and de-mineralized via 0.5M ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to obtain assemblies of collagen molecules. To quantify the mechanical properties of bone samples, instrumented nano-indentation (static and dynamic indentation) technique was used along with other methods like AFM, SEM through BEC and EDX analysis, etc. Interestingly, collagen molecules were found behaving as a transversely isotropic material.

During the course of my graduate studies, I have become interested studying the role small length scale interactions in controlling biophysical response of various materials at larger length scales. I have strong experience of using techniques like Atomistic modeling, Finite Element modeling in addition to various experimental techniques, and have used HPC for running atomistic simulations during research work. 


Research Interests:

      Atomistic simulations, Finite Element simulations, Analytical modeling, Nano-indentation (through AFM and Instrumented indentation), Mechanics of biological materials and bio-materials (metals), Coupling chemistry and mechanics, bridging small length scales to continuum theories of materials, multiple-scale simulation, development and use of multi-scale simulation tools.




1.      Saini, K. and Kumar, N., “Torsional deformation behavior of cracked gold nano-wires”, Acta Mechanica, (2014) 225 (3) 687-700.

2.      Saini, K. and Kumar, N., “Effect of surface crack and its size on mechanical characteristics of Gold nano-wires”, Procedia Material Science, 2014 (6) 161–170.

3.      Saini, K. and Kumar, N., “Mechanical Response of Collagen Molecule under Hydro-static Compression”, Material Science and Engineering C, 2015 (49) 720–726.

4.      Brown P.S., Talbot E.L., Wood T.J., Egan M.J., Wu J.J., Saini K.Kumar N., Bain C.D., Badyal J.P.S. “Controlling pico-litre droplet impact dynamics by tailoring the solid subsurface”, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, Volume 481, 215-221 (2015). 



1.      Badhyal S., Saini K., Dhiman V., Kumar A., Bhadada S. K., Kumar, N., “Visco-elastic properties of human nails”, 2nd International Conference on BioTribology (ICoBT-14), 11th –14th May 2014, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

2.      Badhyal S., Saini K., Dhiman V., Kumar A., Bhadada S. K., Kumar, N., “Pilot study for evaluating the micromechanical properties of bone in Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) and Osteoporosis patients”, 9th Annual Meeting of the Indian Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ISMBR), 7th -8th Sep., 2013, Sher e Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Jammu & Kashmir, India.

3.      Saini K. and Kumar N., “Structural changes in Collagen protein molecules under high hydrostatic pressures”, Mechanical Manipulations (MM-2013) 15th-26th April, 2013, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) Bangalore, India.

4.      Saini K. and Kumar N., “Intrinsic compressibility and volume compression in Collagen proteins by Molecular Dynamics Simulation at high pressures”, International Conference on Design of Biomaterials (BIND), 09-11 December, 2012, IISc Bangalore, Bangalore, India.

5.      Saini, K. and Kumar N., “Effect of crack length on torsional mechanical characteristics of Gold nano-wires”, NMC 2012 – 9th International Workshop on Nano-mechanical Sensing, 6th -8th June, 2012, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India.

6.      Saini K. and Kumar N. and Singh S. “Torsional characteristics of defected Gold nano-wire”, Research Scholar’s Day at IIT Ropar, 2nd Feb., 2012, Punjab, India.

7.      Saini K. and Kumar N., “Effect of axial relaxation on the torsional behavior of cracked nano-wires”, Fourth International Conference on Structural Stability and Dynamics (ICSSD-2012), 4th-6th January, 2012, Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) Jaipur, India.

8.      Saini K. and Kumar N., “Mechanical characteristics of cracked gold nano-Wires under torsional loading”, Materials Science & Technology 2011, Conference & Exhibition, 2011, 16th-20th Oct., 2011, Columbus, Ohio, United States.




  1. Mechanics of Materials
  2. Machine Design
  3. Modeling and Simulation
  4. Fracture Mechanics
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