Advances in Biomimetics: Combination of Various Effects at Different Scales

A special issue of Biomimetics (ISSN 2313-7673).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 22354

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Special Issue Editors

Department of Functional Morphology and Biomechanics, Zoological Institute, Kiel University, 24118 Kiel, Germany
Interests: biological attachment; functional morphology; biomechanics; biotribology; biomimetics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Plant Biomechanics Group, Botanic Garden, Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, Schänzlestraße 1, D 79104 Freiburg, Germany
Interests: functional morphology and biomechanics of plants; plant–animal interactions; bioinspired materials systems, structures, and surfaces; phylogeny of plants and functional structures; paleobotany; scientific education and training in botanic gardens
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Institute of Chemistry, University of Potsdam, Building 25, Rm. B.0.17-17, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, D-14476 Golm, Germany
Interests: inorganic materials synthesis in ionic liquids; functional ionic liquids-hybrid materials; ionogels; biomimetic materials; hybrid materials; calcium phosphate; silica; water treatment; energy materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomimetics research on living systems and attempts to transfer their properties to engineering applications. Biological materials, structures, and processes are predominantly based on the combination of various effects at different scales: from the nano-, micro-, through to the meso-, and finally, the macroscale. This Special Issue is devoted to the latest advance in biomimetics in its all subfields: (1) materials and structures, (2) design, constructions and devices, (3) surfaces and interfaces, (4) architecture and climatisation, (5) locomotion and bioinspired robotics, (6) sensorics, information processing and control, (7) chemical biomimetics, and (8) energy biomimetics. We also encourage submission of manuscripts that explore the relationships between these mentioned topics and especially those devoted to the development of biomimetic methodology.

Papers from biological fields focusing on the proper identification of the underlying principles in nature, and manuscripts that apply the findings on existing systems to modern technologies are welcomed. This inaugural Special Issue of Biomimetics calls for theoretical, experimental, and review contributions from researchers from the fields of biology, physics, material science, engineering, and all researchers who are engaged in this fast-growing field of science.

Prof. Dr. Stanislav N. Gorb
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Carbone
Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck
Prof. Dr. Andreas Taubert
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biomimetics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biomimetics of materials and structures
  • biomimetic design, constructions and devices
  • biomimetic surfaces and interfaces
  • bioinspired architecture and climatisation
  • locomotion and bioinspired robotics
  • bioinspired sensorics, information processing and control
  • biomimetic processing, optimisation, management
  • biomimetic processing and molecular biomimetics
  • energy biomimetics
  • development of biomimetic methodology

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 181 KiB  
Editorial
Advances in Biomimetics: Combination of Various Effects at Different Scales
Biomimetics 2023, 8(3), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8030329 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 978
Abstract
Biomimetics (bionics, bioinspired technology) refers to research on living systems and attempts to transfer their properties to engineering applications [...] Full article

Research

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11 pages, 5858 KiB  
Article
Effect of Wettability and Adhesion Property of Solid Margins on Water Drainage
Biomimetics 2023, 8(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8010060 - 01 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1335
Abstract
Liquid flows at the solid surface and drains at the margin under gravity are ubiquitous in our daily lives. Previous research mainly focuses on the effect of substantial margin’s wettability on liquid pinning and has proved that hydrophobicity inhibits liquids from overflowing margins [...] Read more.
Liquid flows at the solid surface and drains at the margin under gravity are ubiquitous in our daily lives. Previous research mainly focuses on the effect of substantial margin’s wettability on liquid pinning and has proved that hydrophobicity inhibits liquids from overflowing margins while hydrophilicity plays the opposite role. However, the effect of solid margins’ adhesion properties and their synergy with wettability on the overflowing behavior of water and resultant drainage behaviors are rarely studied, especially for large-volume water accumulation on the solid surface. Here, we report the solid surfaces with high-adhesion hydrophilic margin and hydrophobic margin stably pin the air-water-solid triple contact lines at the solid bottom and solid margin, respectively, and then drain water faster through stable water channels termed water channel-based drainage over a wide range of water flow rates. The hydrophilic margin promotes the overflowing of water from top to bottom. It constructs a stable “top + margin + bottom” water channel, and a high-adhesion hydrophobic margin inhibits the overflowing from margin to bottom and constructs a stable “top + margin” water channel. The constructed water channels essentially decrease marginal capillary resistances, guide top water onto the bottom or margin, and assist in draining water faster, under which gravity readily overcomes the surface tension resistance. Consequently, the water channel-based drainage mode achieves 5–8 times faster drainage behavior than the no-water channel drainage mode. The theoretical force analysis also predicts the experimental drainage volumes for different drainage modes. Overall, this article reveals marginal adhesion and wettability-dependent drainage modes and provides motivations for drainage plane design and relevant dynamic liquid-solid interaction for various applications. Full article
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12 pages, 1687 KiB  
Article
Mussel-Inspired Lego Approach for Controlling the Wettability of Surfaces with Colorless Coatings
Biomimetics 2023, 8(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8010003 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1606
Abstract
The control of surface wettability with polyphenol coatings has been at the forefront of materials research since the late 1990s, when robust underwater adhesion was linked to the presence of L-DOPA—a catecholic amino acid—in unusually high amounts, in the sequences of several mussel [...] Read more.
The control of surface wettability with polyphenol coatings has been at the forefront of materials research since the late 1990s, when robust underwater adhesion was linked to the presence of L-DOPA—a catecholic amino acid—in unusually high amounts, in the sequences of several mussel foot proteins. Since then, several successful approaches have been reported, although a common undesired feature of most of them is the presence of a remnant color and/or the intrinsic difficulty in fine-tuning and controlling the hydrophobic character. We report here a new family of functional catechol-based coatings, grounded in the oxidative condensation of readily available pyrocatechol and thiol-capped functional moieties. The presence of at least two additional thiol groups in their structure allows for polymerization through the formation of disulfide bonds. The synthetic flexibility, together with its modular character, allowed us to: (I) develop coatings with applications exemplified by textiles for oil-spill water treatment; (II) develop multifunctional coatings, and (III) fine-tune the WCA for flat and textile surfaces. All of this was achieved with the application of colorless coatings. Full article
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15 pages, 3383 KiB  
Article
States of Aggregation and Phase Transformation Behavior of Metallosurfactant Complexes by Hexacyanoferrate(II): Thermodynamic and Kinetic Investigation of ETR in Ionic Liquids and Liposome Vesicles
Biomimetics 2022, 7(4), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics7040221 - 30 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1368
Abstract
Electronic absorption spectroscopy was used to study the ETR of surfactant–cobalt(III) complexes containing imidazo[4,5-f][1,10]phenanthroline, dipyrido[3,2-d:2′-3′-f]quinoxaline and dipyrido[3,2-a:2′,4′-c](6,7,8,9-tetrahydro)phenazine ligands by using ferrocyanide ions in unilamellar vesicles of dipalmitoylphosphotidylcholine (DPPC) and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide ((BMIM)Br), at different temperatures under pseudo-first-order conditions using an excess of the [...] Read more.
Electronic absorption spectroscopy was used to study the ETR of surfactant–cobalt(III) complexes containing imidazo[4,5-f][1,10]phenanthroline, dipyrido[3,2-d:2′-3′-f]quinoxaline and dipyrido[3,2-a:2′,4′-c](6,7,8,9-tetrahydro)phenazine ligands by using ferrocyanide ions in unilamellar vesicles of dipalmitoylphosphotidylcholine (DPPC) and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide ((BMIM)Br), at different temperatures under pseudo-first-order conditions using an excess of the reductant. The reactions were found to be second-order and the electron transfer is postulated as occurring in the outer sphere. The rate constant for the electron transfer reactions was found to increase with increasing concentrations of ionic liquids. Besides these, the effects of surfactant complex ions on liposome vesicles in these same reactions have also been studied on the basis of hydrophobicity. We observed that, below the phase transition temperature, there is an increasing amount of surfactant–cobalt(III) complexes expelled from the interior of the vesicle membrane through hydrophobic effects, while above the phase transition temperature, the surfactant–cobalt(III) complexes are expelled from the interior to the exterior surface of the vesicle. Kinetic data and activation parameters are interpreted in respect of an outer-sphere electron transfer mechanism. By assuming the existence of an outer-sphere mechanism, the results have been clarified based on the presence of hydrophobicity, and the size of the ligand increases from an ip to dpqc ligand and the reactants become oppositely charged. In all these media, the ΔS# values are recognized as negative in their direction in all the concentrations of complexes employed, indicative of a more ordered structure of the transition state. This is compatible with a model in which these complexes and [Fe(CN)6]4− ions bind to the DPPC in the transition state. Thus, the results have been interpreted based on the self-aggregation, hydrophobicity, charge densities of the co-ligand and the reactants with opposite charges. Full article
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19 pages, 2505 KiB  
Article
Biomimetic and Bioactive Small Diameter Tubular Scaffolds for Vascular Tissue Engineering
Biomimetics 2022, 7(4), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics7040199 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1438
Abstract
The present work aimed at the production and characterization of small caliber biomimetic and bioactive tubular scaffolds, which are able to favor the endothelialization process, and therefore potentially be suitable for vascular tissue engineering. The tubular scaffolds were produced using a specially designed [...] Read more.
The present work aimed at the production and characterization of small caliber biomimetic and bioactive tubular scaffolds, which are able to favor the endothelialization process, and therefore potentially be suitable for vascular tissue engineering. The tubular scaffolds were produced using a specially designed mold, starting from a gelatin/gellan/elastin (GGE) blend, selected to mimic the composition of the extracellular matrix of native blood vessels. GGE scaffolds were obtained through freeze-drying and subsequent cross-linking. To obtain systems capable of promoting endothelization, the scaffolds were functionalized using two different bioactive peptides, Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser-Pro (GRGSDP) and Arg-Glu-Asp-Val (REDV). A complete physicochemical, mechanical, functional, and biological characterization of the developed scaffolds was performed. GGE scaffolds showed a good porosity, which could promote cell infiltration and proliferation and a dense external surface, which could avoid bleeding. Moreover, developed scaffolds showed good hydrophilicity, an elastic behavior similar to natural vessels, suitability for sterilization by an ISO accepted treatment, and an adequate suture retention strength. In vitro cell culture tests showed no cytotoxic activity against 3T3 fibroblasts. The functionalization with the REDV peptide favored the adhesion and growth of endothelial cells, while GRGDSP-modified scaffolds represented a better substrate for fibroblasts. Full article
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14 pages, 33245 KiB  
Article
The Mechanics of Bioinspired Stiff-to-Compliant Multi-Material 3D-Printed Interfaces
Biomimetics 2022, 7(4), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics7040170 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1844
Abstract
Complex interfaces that involve a combination of stiff and compliant materials are widely prevalent in nature. This combination creates a superior assemblage with strength and toughness. When combining two different materials with large stiffness variations, an interfacial stress concentration is created, decreasing the [...] Read more.
Complex interfaces that involve a combination of stiff and compliant materials are widely prevalent in nature. This combination creates a superior assemblage with strength and toughness. When combining two different materials with large stiffness variations, an interfacial stress concentration is created, decreasing the structural integrity and making the structure more prone to failure. However, nature frequently combines two dissimilar materials with different properties. Additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing have revolutionized our engineering capabilities concerning the combination of stiff and compliant materials. The emergence of multi-material 3D-printing technologies has allowed the design of complex interfaces with combined strength and toughness, which is often challenging to achieve in homogeneous materials. Herein, we combined commercial 3D-printed stiff (PETG) and compliant (TPU) polymers using simple and bioinspired interfaces using a fused deposition modeling (FDM) printer and characterized the mechanical behaviors of the interfaces. Furthermore, we examined how the different structural parameters, such as the printing resolution (RES) and horizontal overlap distance (HOD), affect the mechanical properties. We found that the bioinspired interfaces significantly increased the strain, toughness, and tensile modulus compared with the simple interface. Furthermore, the more refined printing resolution elevated the yield stress, while the increased overlap distance mostly elevated the strain and toughness. Additionally, 3D printing allows the fabrication of other complex designs in the stiff and compliant material interface, allowing various tailor-designed and bioinspired interfaces. The importance of these bioinspired interfaces can be manifested in the biomedical and robotic fields and through interface combinations. Full article
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10 pages, 2030 KiB  
Article
Neodymium Selenide Nanoparticles: Greener Synthesis and Structural Characterization
Biomimetics 2022, 7(4), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics7040150 - 03 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1529
Abstract
This investigation presents the greener biomimetic fabrication of neodymium selenide nanoparticles (Nd2Se3 NPs) deploying nitrate-dependent reductase as a reducing (or redox) agent, extracted from the fungus, Fusarium oxysporum. The Nd2Se3 NPs, with an average size of [...] Read more.
This investigation presents the greener biomimetic fabrication of neodymium selenide nanoparticles (Nd2Se3 NPs) deploying nitrate-dependent reductase as a reducing (or redox) agent, extracted from the fungus, Fusarium oxysporum. The Nd2Se3 NPs, with an average size of 18 ± 1 nm, were fabricated with the assistance of a synthetic peptide comprising an amino acid sequence (Glu-Cys)n-Gly, which functioned as a capping molecule. Further, the NPs were characterized using multiple techniques such as UV-Vis spectroscopy, fluorescence, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and XRD. The hydrodynamic radii of biogenic polydispersed Nd2Se3 NPs were found to be 57 nm with PDI value of 0.440 under DLS. The as-made Nd2Se3NPs were water-dispersible owing to the existence of hydrophilic moieties (-NH2, -COOH, -OH) in the capping peptide. Additionally, these functionalities render the emulsion highly stable (zeta potential −9.47 mV) with no visible sign of agglomeration which bodes well for their excellent future prospects in labeling and bioimaging endeavors. Full article
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20 pages, 1497 KiB  
Article
Bio-inspired Machine Learning for Distributed Confidential Multi-Portfolio Selection Problem
Biomimetics 2022, 7(3), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics7030124 - 29 Aug 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2052
Abstract
The recently emerging multi-portfolio selection problem lacks a proper framework to ensure that client privacy and database secrecy remain intact. Since privacy is of major concern these days, in this paper, we propose a variant of Beetle Antennae Search (BAS) known as Distributed [...] Read more.
The recently emerging multi-portfolio selection problem lacks a proper framework to ensure that client privacy and database secrecy remain intact. Since privacy is of major concern these days, in this paper, we propose a variant of Beetle Antennae Search (BAS) known as Distributed Beetle Antennae Search (DBAS) to optimize multi-portfolio selection problems without violating the privacy of individual portfolios. DBAS is a swarm-based optimization algorithm that solely shares the gradients of portfolios among the swarm without sharing private data or portfolio stock information. DBAS is a hybrid framework, and it inherits the swarm-like nature of the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm with the BAS updating criteria. It ensures a robust and fast optimization of the multi-portfolio selection problem whilst keeping the privacy and secrecy of each portfolio intact. Since multi-portfolio selection problems are a recent direction for the field, no work has been done concerning the privacy of the database nor the privacy of stock information of individual portfolios. To test the robustness of DBAS, simulations were conducted consisting of four categories of multi-portfolio problems, where in each category, three portfolios were selected. To achieve this, 200 days worth of real-world stock data were utilized from 25 NASDAQ stock companies. The simulation results prove that DBAS not only ensures portfolio privacy but is also efficient and robust in selecting optimal portfolios. Full article
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23 pages, 13379 KiB  
Article
Novel Motion Sequences in Plant-Inspired Robotics: Combining Inspirations from Snap-Trapping in Two Plant Species into an Artificial Venus Flytrap Demonstrator
Biomimetics 2022, 7(3), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics7030099 - 22 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2472
Abstract
The field of plant-inspired robotics is based on principles underlying the movements and attachment and adaptability strategies of plants, which together with their materials systems serve as concept generators. The transference of the functions and underlying structural principles of plants thus enables the [...] Read more.
The field of plant-inspired robotics is based on principles underlying the movements and attachment and adaptability strategies of plants, which together with their materials systems serve as concept generators. The transference of the functions and underlying structural principles of plants thus enables the development of novel life-like technical materials systems. For example, principles involved in the hinge-less movements of carnivorous snap-trap plants and climbing plants can be used in technical applications. A combination of the snap-trap motion of two plant species (Aldrovanda vesiculosa and Dionaea muscipula) has led to the creation of a novel motion sequence for plant-inspired robotics in an artificial Venus flytrap system, the Venus Flyflap. The novel motion pattern of Venus Flyflap lobes has been characterized by using four state-of-the-art actuation systems. A kinematic analysis of the individual phases of the new motion cycle has been performed by utilizing precise pneumatic actuation. Contactless magnetic actuation augments lobe motion into energy-efficient resonance-like oscillatory motion. The use of environmentally driven actuator materials has allowed autonomous motion generation via changes in environmental conditions. Measurement of the energy required for the differently actuated movements has shown that the Venus Flyflap is not only faster than the biological models in its closing movement, but also requires less energy in certain cases for the execution of this movement. Full article
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Review

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17 pages, 5015 KiB  
Review
Heterogeneous Nucleation in Protein Crystallization
Biomimetics 2023, 8(1), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8010068 - 06 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2555
Abstract
Protein crystallization was first discovered in the nineteenth century and has been studied for nearly 200 years. Protein crystallization technology has recently been widely used in many fields, such as drug purification and protein structure analysis. The key to successful crystallization of proteins [...] Read more.
Protein crystallization was first discovered in the nineteenth century and has been studied for nearly 200 years. Protein crystallization technology has recently been widely used in many fields, such as drug purification and protein structure analysis. The key to successful crystallization of proteins is the nucleation in the protein solution, which can be influenced by many factors, such as the precipitating agent, temperature, solution concentration, pH, etc., among which the role of the precipitating agent is extremely important. In this regard, we summarize the nucleation theory of protein crystallization, including classical nucleation theory, two-step nucleation theory, and heterogeneous nucleation theory. We focus on a variety of efficient heterogeneous nucleating agents and crystallization methods as well. The application of protein crystals in crystallography and biopharmaceutical fields is further discussed. Finally, the bottleneck of protein crystallization and the prospect of future technology development are reviewed. Full article
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25 pages, 3491 KiB  
Review
Recent Progress on Bioinspired Antibacterial Surfaces for Biomedical Application
Biomimetics 2022, 7(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics7030088 - 04 Jul 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3666
Abstract
Surface bacterial fouling has become an urgent global challenge that calls for resilient solutions. Despite the effectiveness in combating bacterial invasion, antibiotics are susceptible to causing microbial antibiotic resistance that threatens human health and compromises the medication efficacy. In nature, many organisms have [...] Read more.
Surface bacterial fouling has become an urgent global challenge that calls for resilient solutions. Despite the effectiveness in combating bacterial invasion, antibiotics are susceptible to causing microbial antibiotic resistance that threatens human health and compromises the medication efficacy. In nature, many organisms have evolved a myriad of surfaces with specific physicochemical properties to combat bacteria in diverse environments, providing important inspirations for implementing bioinspired approaches. This review highlights representative natural antibacterial surfaces and discusses their corresponding mechanisms, including repelling adherent bacteria through tailoring surface wettability and mechanically killing bacteria via engineering surface textures. Following this, we present the recent progress in bioinspired active and passive antibacterial strategies. Finally, the biomedical applications and the prospects of these antibacterial surfaces are discussed. Full article
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