Editorial Board Members' Collection Series: Biomimetics of Materials and Structures

A special issue of Biomimetics (ISSN 2313-7673). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomimetics of Materials and Structures".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 18109

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Kansas, 1530 W 15th St Learned Hall Lawrence, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
2. Institute for Bioengineering Research, University of Kansas, 1530 W 15th St Learned Hall Lawrence, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
Interests: bio-nano interfaces; bio-nanotechnology; surfaces; biomaterials; tissue engineering; nano-biosensors; biocatalysis molecular biomimetics; bioengineering
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Guest Editor
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

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a new Collection, titled “Editorial Board Members' Collection Series: Biomimetics of Materials and Structures”, which will collect papers invited by Editorial Board Members.

The aim of this Collection is to provide a venue for networking and communication between Biomimetics and scholars in the fields of biomimetic materials and structures. The collection includes papers offering a fundamental understanding of biological materials as well as their implementation in engineering applications by mimicking a biological design motif. All papers will be published in open access following peer review.

Prof. Dr. Candan Tamerler
Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck
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.

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 6497 KiB  
Article
Cross-Sectional 4D-Printing: Upscaling Self-Shaping Structures with Differentiated Material Properties Inspired by the Large-Flowered Butterwort (Pinguicula grandiflora)
by Ekin Sila Sahin, Tiffany Cheng, Dylan Wood, Yasaman Tahouni, Simon Poppinga, Marc Thielen, Thomas Speck and Achim Menges
Biomimetics 2023, 8(2), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8020233 - 02 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3892
Abstract
Extrusion-based 4D-printing, which is an emerging field within additive manufacturing, has enabled the technical transfer of bioinspired self-shaping mechanisms by emulating the functional morphology of motile plant structures (e.g., leaves, petals, capsules). However, restricted by the layer-by-layer extrusion process, much of the resulting [...] Read more.
Extrusion-based 4D-printing, which is an emerging field within additive manufacturing, has enabled the technical transfer of bioinspired self-shaping mechanisms by emulating the functional morphology of motile plant structures (e.g., leaves, petals, capsules). However, restricted by the layer-by-layer extrusion process, much of the resulting works are simplified abstractions of the pinecone scale’s bilayer structure. This paper presents a new method of 4D-printing by rotating the printed axis of the bilayers, which enables the design and fabrication of self-shaping monomaterial systems in cross sections. This research introduces a computational workflow for programming, simulating, and 4D-printing differentiated cross sections with multilayered mechanical properties. Taking inspiration from the large-flowered butterwort (Pinguicula grandiflora), which shows the formation of depressions on its trap leaves upon contact with prey, we investigate the depression formation of bioinspired 4D-printed test structures by varying each depth layer. Cross-sectional 4D-printing expands the design space of bioinspired bilayer mechanisms beyond the XY plane, allows more control in tuning their self-shaping properties, and paves the way toward large-scale 4D-printed structures with high-resolution programmability. Full article
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21 pages, 6433 KiB  
Article
Failure without Tears: Two-Step Attachment in a Climbing Cactus
by Nick P. Rowe, Lily Cheng Clavel and Patricia Soffiatti
Biomimetics 2023, 8(2), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8020220 - 25 May 2023
Viewed by 1222
Abstract
Climbing plants can be extremely adaptable to diverse habitats and capable of colonising perturbed, unstructured, and even moving environments. The timing of the attachment process, whether instantaneous (e.g., a pre-formed hook) or slow (growth process), crucially depends on the environmental context and the [...] Read more.
Climbing plants can be extremely adaptable to diverse habitats and capable of colonising perturbed, unstructured, and even moving environments. The timing of the attachment process, whether instantaneous (e.g., a pre-formed hook) or slow (growth process), crucially depends on the environmental context and the evolutionary history of the group concerned. We observed how spines and adhesive roots develop and tested their mechanical strength in the climbing cactus Selenicereus setaceus (Cactaceae) in its natural habitat. Spines are formed on the edges of the triangular cross-section of the climbing stem and originate in soft axillary buds (areoles). Roots are formed in the inner hard core of the stem (wood cylinder) and grow via tunnelling through soft tissue, emerging from the outer skin. We measured maximal spine strength and root strength via simple tensile tests using a field measuring Instron device. Spine and root strengths differ, and this has a biological significance for the support of the stem. Our measurements indicate that the measured mean strength of a single spine could theoretically support an average force of 2.8 N. This corresponds to an equivalent stem length of 2.62 m (mass of 285 g). The measured mean strength of root could theoretically support an average of 13.71 N. This corresponds to a stem length of 12.91 m (mass of 1398 g). We introduce the notion of two-step attachment in climbing plants. In this cactus, the first step deploys hooks that attach to a substrate; this process is instantaneous and is highly adapted for moving environments. The second step involves more solid root attachment to the substrate involving slower growth processes. We discuss how initial fast hook attachment can steady the plant on supports allowing for the slower root attachment. This is likely to be important in wind-prone and moving environmental conditions. We also explore how two-step anchoring mechanisms are of interest for technical applications, particularly for soft-bodied artefacts, which must safely deploy hard and stiff materials originating from a soft compliant body. Full article
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20 pages, 16230 KiB  
Article
Cost of Transport of Undulating Fin Propulsion
by Tim G. A. Vercruyssen, Sebastian Henrion, Ulrike K. Müller, Johan L. van Leeuwen and Frans C. T. van der Helm
Biomimetics 2023, 8(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8020214 - 23 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1395
Abstract
Autonomous robots are used to inspect, repair and maintain underwater assets. These tasks require energy-efficient robots, including efficient movement to extend available operational time. To examine the suitability of a propulsion system based on undulating fins, we built two robots with one and [...] Read more.
Autonomous robots are used to inspect, repair and maintain underwater assets. These tasks require energy-efficient robots, including efficient movement to extend available operational time. To examine the suitability of a propulsion system based on undulating fins, we built two robots with one and two fins, respectively, and conducted a parametric study for combinations of frequency, amplitude, wavenumber and fin shapes in free-swimming experiments, measuring steady-state swimming speed, power consumption and cost of transport. The following trends emerged for both robots. Swimming speed was more strongly affected by frequency than amplitude across the examined wavenumbers and fin heights. Power consumption was sensitive to frequency at low wavenumbers, and increasingly sensitive to amplitude at high wavenumbers. This increasing sensitivity of amplitude was more pronounced in tall rather than short fins. Cost of transport showed a complex relation with fin size and kinematics and changed drastically across the mapped parameter space. At equal fin kinematics as the single-finned robot, the double-finned robot swam slightly faster (>10%) with slightly lower power consumption (<20%) and cost of transport (<40%). Overall, the robots perform similarly to finned biological swimmers and other bio-inspired robots, but do not outperform robots with conventional propulsion systems. Full article
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21 pages, 11906 KiB  
Article
Protective Behaviors of Bio-Inspired Honeycomb Column Thin-Walled Structure against RC Slab under Impact Loading
by Shijie Wang and Hongxiang Xia
Biomimetics 2023, 8(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8010073 - 09 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1409
Abstract
In order to protect the reinforced concrete (RC) slab structure from damage under some accidental conditions, such as impacting and explosion, we used bio-inspired honeycomb column thin-walled structure (BHTS) to serve as a buffer interlayer for the concrete structure inspired by the biological [...] Read more.
In order to protect the reinforced concrete (RC) slab structure from damage under some accidental conditions, such as impacting and explosion, we used bio-inspired honeycomb column thin-walled structure (BHTS) to serve as a buffer interlayer for the concrete structure inspired by the biological structure of beetle’s elytra. The mechanical properties of AlSi10Mg used to fabricate the BHTS buffer interlayer were determined by low- and medium-speed uniaxial compression tests and numerical simulations. Subsequently, based on the drop weight impact test models, the effect of the buffer interlayer on the response of the RC slab under the drop weight tests with different energy input was compared by the impact force and duration, maximum displacement and residual displacement, energy absorption (EA), energy proportion, and other indicators. The results show that the proposed BHTS buffer interlayer has a very significant protection effect on the RC slab under the impact of the drop hammer. Due to its superior performance, the proposed BHTS buffer interlayer provides a promising solution for EA of augmented cellular structures widely used in defensive structural components, such as floor slabs, building walls, etc. Full article
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13 pages, 4074 KiB  
Article
Honeycomb-like MnO2/Biochar Catalyst Fabricated by High-Energy Electron Beam Irradiation for Degradation of Antibiotics in Swine Urine
by Huan Ma, Zhi Wang, Ling Qian, Gaorui Jin, Pengqi Yang, Dongfang Wang, Shengkai Xu, Dongqing Cai, Zhengyan Wu and Xin Zhang
Biomimetics 2023, 8(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8010032 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1641
Abstract
The modification of biochar is essential for the development of multifunctional biochar materials with enhanced remediation effects on contaminated water. In this work, a biochar-based microcatalyst with sunlight sensitivity was synthesized by a creative modification method that involved the rapid fabrication of MnO [...] Read more.
The modification of biochar is essential for the development of multifunctional biochar materials with enhanced remediation effects on contaminated water. In this work, a biochar-based microcatalyst with sunlight sensitivity was synthesized by a creative modification method that involved the rapid fabrication of MnO2 microspheres by high-energy electron beam (HEEB) irradiation, and loading them into corn straw-derived honeycomb-like KOH-modified biochar (MBC) to obtain a sunlight-sensitive microcatalyst (SSM). The honeycomb-like structure of MBC facilitated the improvement in MnO2 dispersion and photocatalytic property through confinement effect. The effects of photocatalyst dosage, initial chlortetracycline (CTC) concentration, solution pH, temperature and coexisting ions on the photocatalytic performance of SSM were systemically investigated. The results indicated that SSM could efficiently degrade CTC in water and swine urine under sunlight, and exhibited high stability against coexistence of urea, Cl and SO42−. Moreover, SSM showed good reusability in regeneration studies. This work provides a novel method for degrading CTC with potential application prospect. Full article
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Review

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31 pages, 7500 KiB  
Review
Longevity of System Functions in Biology and Biomimetics: A Matter of Robustness and Resilience
by Max D. Mylo and Olga Speck
Biomimetics 2023, 8(2), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8020173 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2096
Abstract
Within the framework of a circular economy, we aim to efficiently use raw materials and reduce waste generation. In this context, the longevity of biomimetic material systems can significantly contribute by providing robustness and resilience of system functionality inspired by biological models. The [...] Read more.
Within the framework of a circular economy, we aim to efficiently use raw materials and reduce waste generation. In this context, the longevity of biomimetic material systems can significantly contribute by providing robustness and resilience of system functionality inspired by biological models. The aim of this review is to outline various principles that can lead to an increase in robustness (e.g., safety factor, gradients, reactions to environmental changes) and resilience (e.g., redundancy, self-repair) and to illustrate the principles with meaningful examples. The study focuses on plant material systems with a high potential for transfer to biomimetic applications and on existing biomimetic material systems. Our fundamental concept is based on the functionality of the entire system as a function of time. We use functionality as a dimensionless measure of robustness and resilience to quantify the system function, allowing comparison within biological material systems and biomimetic material systems, but also between them. Together with the enclosed glossary of key terms, the review provides a comprehensive toolbox for interdisciplinary teams. Thus, allowing teams to communicate unambiguously and to draw inspiration from plant models when developing biomimetic material systems with great longevity potential. Full article
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32 pages, 7140 KiB  
Review
The Plant Leaf: A Biomimetic Resource for Multifunctional and Economic Design
by Anita Roth-Nebelsick and Matthias Krause
Biomimetics 2023, 8(2), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8020145 - 03 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4042
Abstract
As organs of photosynthesis, leaves are of vital importance for plants and a source of inspiration for biomimetic developments. Leaves are composed of interconnected functional elements that evolved in concert under high selective pressure, directed toward strategies for improving productivity with limited resources. [...] Read more.
As organs of photosynthesis, leaves are of vital importance for plants and a source of inspiration for biomimetic developments. Leaves are composed of interconnected functional elements that evolved in concert under high selective pressure, directed toward strategies for improving productivity with limited resources. In this paper, selected basic components of the leaf are described together with biomimetic examples derived from them. The epidermis (the “skin” of leaves) protects the leaf from uncontrolled desiccation and carries functional surface structures such as wax crystals and hairs. The epidermis is pierced by micropore apparatuses, stomata, which allow for regulated gas exchange. Photosynthesis takes place in the internal leaf tissue, while the venation system supplies the leaf with water and nutrients and exports the products of photosynthesis. Identifying the selective forces as well as functional limitations of the single components requires understanding the leaf as an integrated system that was shaped by evolution to maximize carbon gain from limited resource availability. These economic aspects of leaf function manifest themselves as trade-off solutions. Biomimetics is expected to benefit from a more holistic perspective on adaptive strategies and functional contexts of leaf structures. Full article
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17 pages, 2514 KiB  
Review
Biomimetic Construction of Artificial Selenoenzymes
by Hanqing Zhao, Chengchen Xu, Tingting Wang and Junqiu Liu
Biomimetics 2023, 8(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8010054 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1782
Abstract
Selenium exists in the form of selenocysteines in selenoproteins and plays a pivotal role in the catalytic process of the antioxidative enzymes. In order to study the structural and functional properties of selenium in selenoproteins, explore the significance of the role of selenium [...] Read more.
Selenium exists in the form of selenocysteines in selenoproteins and plays a pivotal role in the catalytic process of the antioxidative enzymes. In order to study the structural and functional properties of selenium in selenoproteins, explore the significance of the role of selenium in the fields of biology and chemistry, scientists conducted a series of artificial simulations on selenoproteins. In this review, we sum up the progress and developed strategies in the construction of artificial selenoenzyme. Using different mechanisms from different catalytic angles, selenium-containing catalytic antibodies, semi-synthetic selenonezyme, and the selenium-containing molecularly imprinted enzymes have been constructed. A variety of synthetic selenoenzyme models have been designed and constructed by selecting host molecules such as cyclodextrins, dendrimers, and hyperbranched polymers as the main scaffolds. Then, a variety of selenoprotein assemblies as well as cascade antioxidant nanoenzymes were built by using electrostatic interaction, metal coordination, and host–guest interaction. The unique redox properties of selenoenzyme glutathione peroxidase (GPx) can be reproduced. Full article
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