Biomimicry or biomimetics is the examination of nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems. The termbiomimicry and biomimetics come from the Greek words bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate. Similar terms include bionics. Over the last 3.6 billion yearsature has gone through a process of trial and error to refine the living organisms, processes, and materials on planet Earth. The emerging field of biomimetics has given rise to new technologies created from biologically inspired engineering at both the macro scale and nanoscale levels. Biomimetics is not a new idea. Humans have been looking at nature for answers to both complex and simple problems throughout our existence. Nature has solved many of today's engineering problems such as hydrophobicity, wind resistance, self-assembly, and harnessing solar energy through the evolutionary mechanics of selective advantages. “Designers are constantly looking to nature because they can find ideas that have some fundamental level of efficiency and robustness, and there seems to be a general hunger for biomimicry as inspiration.” “Biomimicry allows innovators and problem solvers of all kinds to create more intelligent and sustainable design through the emulation of nature.” The basic fundamental point is that nature has 3.8 billion years of evolution for us to pull inspiration from. Survival of the fittest is still alive today so we can see which concepts in nature flourished and which died out. Nature has done most of the work for us already we just have to be smart and clever enough to make it work for us. So the next time you find your eye drawn to something, take a second to think

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second to think about why and maybe you’ll find that society isn’t as separate from nature as you once thought. If chaos theory transformed our view of the universe, biomimicry is transforming our life on Earth. Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature – taking advantage of evolution’s 3.8 billion years of R&D since the first bacteria. Biomimics study nature’s best ideas: photosynthesis, brain power, and shells – and adapt them for human use. They are revolutionising how we invent, compute, heal ourselves, harness energy, repair the environment, and feed the world. Copying Mother Nature Biomimicry looks to nature and natural systems for inspiration. After millions of years of tinkering, Mother Nature has worked out some effective processes. In nature, there is no such thing as waste — anything left over from one animal or plant is food for another species. Inefficiency doesn't last long in nature, and human engineers and designers often look there for solutions to modern problems. Here are seven striking examples of biomimicry. (Text: Shea Gunther) Velcro is widely known example of biomimicry. You may have worn shoes with velcro straps as a youngster and you can certainly look forward to wearing the same kind of shoes in retirement. Velcro was invented by Swiss engineer George de Mestral in 1941 after he removed burrs from his dog and decided to take a closer look at how they worked. The small hooks found at the end of the burr needles inspired him to create the now ubiquitous Velcro. Think about it: without this material, the world wouldn't know Velcro jumping — a sport in which people dressed in full suits of Velcro attempt to throw their bodies as high up on a wall as possible. Lotus = Paint The lotus flower is sort of like the sharkskin of dry land. The flower's micro-rough surface naturally repels dust and dirt particles, keeping its petals sparkling clean. If you've ever looked at a lotus leaf under a microscope, you've seen a sea of tiny nail-like protuberances that ca

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Lotus = Paint The lotus flower is sort of like the sharkskin of dry land. The flower's micro-rough surface naturally repels dust and dirt particles, keeping its petals sparkling clean. If you've ever looked at a lotus leaf under a microscope, you've seen a sea of tiny nail-like protuberances that cacks of dust. When water rolls over a lotus leaf, it collects anything on the surface, leaving a clean and healthy leaf behind.A German company, Ispo, spent four years researching this phenomenon and has developed a paint with similar properties. The micro-rough surface of the paint pushes away dust and dirt, diminishing the need to wash the outside of a house. Bug = Water collection The Stenocara beetle is a master water collector. The small black bug lives in a harsh, dry desert environment and is able to survive thanks to the unique design of its shell. The Stenocara's back is covered in small, smooth bumps that serve as collection points for condensed water or fog. The entire shell is covered in a slick, Teflon-like wax and is channeled so that condensed water from morning fog is funneled into the beetle's mouth. It's brilliant in its simplicity.researchers at MIT have been able to build on a concept inspired by the Stenocara's shell and first described by Oxford University's Andrew Parker. They have crafted a material that collects water from the air more efficiently than existing designs. About 22 countries around the world use nets to collect water from the air, so such a boost in efficiency could have a big impact.

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History One of the early examples of biomimicry was the study of birds to enable human flight. Although never successful in creating a "flying machine", Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was a keen observer of the anatomy and flight of birds, and made numerous notes and sketches on his observations as well as sketches of "flying machines".[4] The Wright Brothers, who succeeded in flying the first heavier-than-air aircraft in 1903, derived inspiration from observations of pigeons in flight. Otto Schmitt, an American academic and inventor, coined the term biomimetics to describe the transfer of ideas from biology to technology.[6] He developed the Schmitt trigger while attempting to replicate the biological system of nerve propagation.[7] The term biomimetics entered Websters Dictionary in 1974 and is defined as "the study of the formation, structure, or function of biologically produced substances and materials (as enzymes or silk) and biological mechanisms and processes (as protein synthesis or photosynthesis) especially for the purpose of synthesizing similar products by artificial mechanisms which mimic natural ones". In 1960, the term bionics was coined by psychiatrist and engineer Jack Steele to mean "the science of systems which have some function copied from nature".Bionics entered the Webster dictionary in 1960 as "a science concerned with the application of data about the functioning of biological systems to the solution of engineering problems". Bionic took on a different connotation when Martin Caidin referenced Jack Steele and his work in the novel Cyborg which later resulted in the 1974 television series The Six Million Dollar Man and its spin-offs. The term bionic then became associated with 'the use of electronically operated artificial body parts' and 'having ordinary human powers increased by or as if by the aid of such.

• devices'. Because the term bionic took on the implication of supernatural strength, the scientific community in English speaking countries largely abandoned it. • The term biomimicry appeared as early as 1982.[10] Biomimicry was popularized by scientist and author Janine Benyus in her 1997 book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. Biomimicry is defined in the book as a "new science that studies nature's models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems". Benyus suggests looking to Nature as a "Model, Measure, and Mentor" and emphasizes sustainability as an objective of biomimicry.[11] • Biologically inspired engineering • The use of biomineralized structures is vast and derived from the abundance of nature. From studying the nano-scale morphology of living organisms many applications have been developed through multidisciplinary collaboration between biologists, chemists, bioengineers, nanotechnologists, and material scientists.

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Nanowires, nanotubes, and quantum dots A virus is a nonliving particle ranging from the size of 20 to 300 nm capsules containing genetic material used to infect its host. The outer layer of viruses are remarkably robust and capable of withstanding temperatures as high as 60 °C and stay stable in a wide range of pH range of 210.[12] Viral capsids can be used to create several nano device components such as nanowires, nanotubes, and quantum dots. Tubular virus particles such as thetobacco mosaic virus (TMV) can be used as templates to create nanofibers and nanotubes since both the inner and outer layers of the virus are charged surfaces and can induce nucleation of crystal growth. This was demonstrated though the production of platinum and gold nanotubes using TMV as a template.[13] Mineralized virus particles have been shown to withstand various pH values by mineralizing the viruses with different materials such silicon, PbS, and CdS and could therefore serve as a useful carriers of material.[14] A spherical plant virus called cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV) has interesting expanding properties when exposed to environments of pH higher than 6.5. Above this pH, 60 independent pores with diameters about 2 nm begin to exchange substance with the environment. The structural transition of the viral capsid can be utilized in Biomorphic mineralization for selective uptake and deposition of minerals by controlling the solution pH. Applications include using the viral cage to produce uniformly shaped and sized quantum dot semiconductor nanoparticles through a series of pH washes. This is an alternative to theapoferritin cage technique currently used to synthesize uniform CdSe nanoparticles.[15] Such materials could also be used for targeted drug delivery since particles release contents upon exposure to specific pH levels.

Morpho butterfly wings contain microstructures that create its coloring effect through structural coloration rather than pigmentation. Incident light waves are reflected at specific wavelengths to create vibrant colors due to multilayer interference, diffraction, thin film interference, and scattering properties.[16]The scales of these butterflies consist of microstructures such as ridges, cross-ribs, ridge-lamellae, and microribs that have been shown to be responsible for coloration. The structural color has been simply explained as the interference due to alternating layers of cuticle and air using a model ofmultilayer interference. The same principles behind the coloration of soap bubbles apply to butterfly wings. The color of butterfly wings is due to multiple instances of constructive interference from structures such as this. The photonic microstructure of butterfly wings can be replicated through biomorphic mineralization to yield similar properties. The photonic microstructures can be replicated using metal oxides or metal alkoxides such as titanium sulfate(TiSO4), zirconium oxide (ZrO2), and aluminium oxide (Al2O3). An alternative method of vapor-phase oxidation of SiH4 on the template surface was found to preserve delicate structural features of the microstructure.[17] Now, companies like Qualcomm are specializing in creating color displays with low power consumption based on these principles.

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[edit]Additional examples Velcro was inspired by the tiny hooks found on the surface of burs. Researchers studied the termite's ability to maintain virtually constant temperature and humidity in their termite mounds in Africa despite outside temperatures that vary from 1.5 °C to 40 °C (35 °F to 104 °F). Researchers initially scanned a termite mound and created 3-D images of the mound structure, which revealed construction that can influence human building design. The Eastgate Centre, a mid-rise office complex in Harare,Zimbabwe,[18] stays cool without air conditioning and uses only 10% of the energy of a conventional building its size. Modeling echolocation in bats in darkness has led to a cane for the visually impaired. Research at the University of Leeds, in the United Kingdom, led to the UltraCane, a product formerly manufactured, marketed and sold by Sound Foresight Ltd. Janine Benyus refers in her books to spiders that create web silk as strong as the Kevlar used in bulletproof vests. Engineers could use such a material—if it had a long enough rate of decay—for parachute lines, suspension bridge cables, artificial ligaments for medicine, and other purposes.[11]

• Other research has proposed adhesive glue from mussels, solar cells made like leaves, fabric that emulates shark skin, harvesting water from fog like abeetle, and more. Nature’s 100 Best is a compilation of the top hundred different innovations of animals, plants, and other organisms that have been researched and studied by the Biomimicry Institute.[18] • A display technology based on the reflective properties of certain morpho butterflies was commercialized by Qualcomm in 2007. The technology usesInterferometric Modulation to reflect light so only the desired color is visible in each individual pixel of the display. • Biomimicry may also provide design methodologies and techniques to optimize engineering products and systems. An example is the rederivation of Murray's law, which in conventional form determined the optimum diameter of blood vessels, to provide simple equations for the pipe or tube diameter which gives a minimum mass engineering system.[19]

• In structural engineering, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) has incorporated biomimetic characteristics in an adaptive deployable "tensegrity" bridge. The bridge can carry out self-diagnosis and selfrepair. • The Bombardier beetle's powerful repellent spray inspired a Swedish company to develop a "micro mist" spray technology, which is claimed to have a low carbon impact (compared to aerosol sprays). The beetle mixes chemicals and releases its spray via a steerable nozzle at the end of its abdomen.

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Lotus effect From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Water on the surface of a lotus leaf. Water droplets on taro leaf with lotus effect (upper), and taro leaf surface magnified (0–1 is one millimetre span) showing a number of small protrusions (lower).

• The lotus effect refers to the very high water repellence (superhydrophobicity) exhibited by the leaves of the lotus flower (Nelumbo).[1] Dirt particles are picked up by water droplets due to a complex micro- and nanoscopic architecture of the surface, which minimizes adhesion. • This effect can easily be demonstrated in many other plants, for example Tropaeolum (nasturtium), Opuntia (prickly pear), Alchemilla, cane, and on the wings of certain insects.[citation needed] • The phenomenon was first studied by Dettre and Johnson in 1964[citation needed] using rough hydrophobic surfaces. Their work developed a theoretical model based on experiments with glass beads coated with paraffin or PTFE telomer. The self-cleaning property of superhydrophobic micro-nanostructuredsurfaces was studied by Barthlott and Ehler in 1977,[2] and perfluoroalkyl and perfluoropolyether superhydrophobic materials were developed by Brown in 1986 for handling chemical and biological fluids.[3] Other biotechnical applications have emerged since the 1990s

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Functional principle Due to their high surface tension, water droplets tend to minimize their surface trying to achieve a spherical shape. On contact with a surface, adhesion forces result in wetting of the surface. Either complete or incomplete wetting may occur depending on the structure of the surface and the fluid tension of the droplet.[9] The cause of self-cleaning properties is the hydrophobic water-repellent double structure of the surface.[10] This enables the contact area and the adhesion force between surface and droplet to be significantly reduced resulting in a self-cleaning process.[11][12][13] This hierarchical double structure is formed out of a characteristic epidermis (its outermost layer called the cuticle) and the covering waxes. The epidermis of the lotus plant possesses papillae with 10 to 20 µm in height and 10 to 15 µm in width on which the so-called epicuticular waxes are imposed. These superimposed waxes are hydrophobic and form the second layer of the double structure. The hydrophobicity of a surface is related to[clarification needed] its contact angle. The higher the contact angle the higher the hydrophobicity of a surface. Surfaces with a contact angle < 90° are referred to as hydrophilic and those with an angle >90° as hydrophobic. Some plants show contact angles up to 160° and are called super-hydrophobic meaning that only 2–3% of a drop's surface is in contact. Plants with a double structured surface like the lotus can reach a contact angle of 170° whereas a droplet’s actual contact area is only 0.6%. All this leads to a self-cleaning effect.

• Dirt particles with an extremely reduced contact area are picked up by water droplets and are thus easily cleaned off the surface. If a water droplet rolls across such a contaminated surface the adhesion between the dirt particle, irrespective of its chemistry, and the droplet is higher than between the particle and the surface. As this self-cleaning effect is based on the high surface tension of water it does not work with organic solvents. Therefore, the lotus-effect is no protection against graffiti. • This effect is of a great importance for plants as a protection against pathogens like fungi or algae growth, and also for animals like butterflies, dragonfliesand other insects not able to cleanse all their body parts. Another positive effect of self-cleaning is the prevention of contamination of the area of a plant surface exposed to light resulting in a reduced photosynthesis

• [edit]Technical application • Some nanotechnologists have developed treatments, coatings, paints, roof tiles, fabrics and other surfaces that can stay dry and clean themselves in the same way as the lotus leaf. This can usually be achieved using special fluorochemical or silicone treatments on structured surfaces or with compositions containing micro-scale particulates. Super-hydrophobic coatings comprising Teflon microparticles have been used on medical diagnostic slides for over 30 years. It is possible to achieve such effects by using combinations of polyethylene glycol with glucose and sucrose (or any insoluble particulate) in conjunction with a hydrophobic substance.

• As self cleaning of superhydrophobic microscopic to nanoscopic surfaces is based on a purely physio-chemical effect it can be transferred onto technical surfaces on a biomimetic basis.[14][15][16] One example of the products with superhydrophobic self-cleaning properties is the facade paint Lotusan.[17] • Further applications have been marketed, such as self-cleaning glasses installed in the sensors of traffic control units on German autobahns developed by a cooperation partner (Ferro GmbH). Evonik AG has developed a spray for generating self-cleaning films on various substrata. Lotus effectsuperhydrophobic coatings applied to microwave antennas can significantly reduce rain fade and the buildup of ice and snow. “Easy to clean” products in ads are often mistaken in the name of the self-cleaning process of the lotus-effect. Patterned superhydrophobic surfaces also show promise for "lab-on-a-chip" microfluidic devices and can greatly improve surface-based bioanalysis. •

• Honeycomb • A honeycomb is a mass of hexagonal wax cells built by honey bees in their nests to contain their larvae and stores of honey and pollen. • Beekeepers may remove the entire honeycomb to harvest honey. Honey bees consume about 8.4 lbs (4 kg) of honey to secrete 1 lb (500 g) of wax,[1]so it makes economic sense to return the wax to the hive after harvesting the honey, commonly called "pulling honey" or "robbing the bees" by beekeepers.[citation needed] The structure of the comb may be left basically intact when honey is extracted from it by uncapping and spinning in a centrifugal machine—the honey extractor. If the honeycomb is too worn out, the wax can be reused in a number of ways, including making sheets of comb foundation with hexagonal pattern. Such foundation sheets allow the bees to

• build the comb with less effort, and the hexagonal pattern of worker-sized cell bases discourages the bees from building the larger drone cells. • "Artificial honeycomb" plate where bees have already completed some cells • Fresh, new comb is sometimes sold and used intact as comb honey, especially if the honey is being spread on bread rather than used in cooking or to sweeten tea. • Broodcomb becomes dark over time, because of the cocoons embedded in the cells and the tracking of many feet, called travel stain[citation needed] by beekeepers when seen on frames of comb honey. Honeycomb in the "supers" that are not allowed to be used for brood (e.g. by the placement of aqueen excluder) stays light coloured.

• Numerous wasps, especially Polistinae and Vespinae, construct hexagonal prism-packed combs made of paper instead of wax; and in some species (such as Brachygastra mellifica), honey is stored in the nest, thus technically forming a paper honeycomb. However, the term "honeycomb" is not often used for such structures. • Honeycomb geometry

Closeup of an abandoned Apis floreanest, Thailand - the hexagonal grid of wax cells on either side of the nest are slightly offset from each other. This increases the strength of the comb and reduces the amount of wax required to produce a robust structure. The axes of honeycomb cells are always quasi-horizontal, and the nonangled rows of honeycomb cells are always horizontally (not vertically) aligned. Thus, each cell has two vertical walls, with "floors" and "ceilings" composed of two angled walls(disparity with image "Honeycomb-Process"). The cells slope slightly upwards, between 9 and 14 degrees, towards the open ends. There are two possible explanations for the reason that honeycomb is composed of hexagons, rather than any other shape. One, given by Jan Brożek and proved much later by Thomas Hales, is that the hexagontiles the plane with minimal surface area. Thus, a hexagonal structure uses the least material to create a lattice of cells within a given volume. Another, given by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, is that the shape simply results from the process of individual bees putting cells together: somewhat analogous to the boundary shapes created in a

• field of soap bubbles. In support of this, he notes that queen cells, which are constructed singly, are irregular and lumpy with no apparent attempt at efficiency.[2] • The closed ends of the honeycomb cells are also an example of geometric efficiency, albeit threedimensional and little-noticed. The ends are trihedral (i.e., composed of three planes) sections of rhombic dodecahedra, with the dihedral angles of all adjacent surfaces measuring 120°, the angle that minimizes surface area for a given volume. (The angle formed by the edges at the pyramidal apex, known as the tetrahedral angle, is approximately 109° 28' 16" (= arccos(−1/3)).)

• The shape of the cells is such that two opposing honeycomb layers nest into each other, with each facet of the closed ends being shared by opposing cells. • Honeycomb of the giant honey bee Apis dorsata in a colony aggregation in Srirangapatnna near Bangalore • Individual cells do not show this geometric perfection: in a regular comb, there are deviations of a few percent from the "perfect" hexagonal shape. In transition zones between the larger cells of drone comb and the smaller cells of worker comb, or when the bees encounter obstacles, the shapes are often distorted. Cells are also angled up about 13° from horizontal to prevent honey from dripping out.[3]

• Honeycomb section containing transition from worker to drone (larger) cells - here bees make irregular and fivecornered cells (marked with red dots). • In 1965, László Fejes Tóth discovered that the trihedral pyramidal shape (which is composed of three rhombi) used by the honeybee is not the theoretically optimal threedimensional geometry. A cell end composed of two hexagons and two smaller rhombuses would actually be .035% (or approximately 1 part per 2850) more efficient. This difference is too minute to measure on an actual honeycomb, and irrelevant to the hive economy in terms of efficient use of wax, considering that wild comb varies considerably from any mathematical notion of "ideal" geometry.

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What is Biomimicry? Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a design discipline that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. The core idea is that Nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with: energy, food production, climate control, non-toxic chemistry, transportation, packaging, and a whole lot more. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most importantly, what lasts here on Earth. Instead of harvesting organisms, or domesticating them to accomplish a function for us, biomimicry differs from other "bio-approaches" by consulting organisms and ecosystems and applying the underlying design principles to our innovations. This approach introduces an entirely new realm for entrepreneurship that can contribute not only innovative designs and solutions to our problems but also to awakening people to the importance of conserving the biodiversity on Earth that has so much yet to teach us. Looking at Nature as Model, Measure, and Mentor