Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nature’s Nanomaterials – To Be or Not to Be Bioinspired?

Synthetic sea shells.
Synthetic sea shells.

Abstract:
Some old adages in the field of biomimetics include, "Nature did it first", "if it exists, it can be synthesized", and "bioinspiration from Nature".

Nature’s Nanomaterials – To Be or Not to Be Bioinspired?

Germany | Posted on November 1st, 2012

The word "biomimetics" derives from Greek bios, "life" and mimetic, "competency for mimicry". Since the word was coined in the 1950's biomimetics has become a vibrant field and today is associated with the design, synthesis and fabrication of materials and machines whose structure and properties, function and utility derive inspiration from biological systems.

This bioinspiration comes from efforts to understand the chemical, physical, and biological principles that underpin Nature's marvelous constructions. Their very existence is predicated upon perfected and optimized change that has been fine-tuned over evolutionary time scales enabling endurance of the fittest materials, honing of the most efficient processes and survival of the top performing devices and systems.

For scientists working within the field of biomimetics the overarching goal is to learn and purposefully exploit Nature's secrets to solve materials problems and thus enable the development of new materials technologies.

Some practitioners of the art have, however, said that biomimetic materials would have been invented without any knowledge or inspiration from Nature while others have argued that it would have simply taken longer to invent these materials without that insight. This debate still smolders amongst academic researchers, and the controversy keeps government and industrial scientists, policy makers and funding agencies on their toes!Nanochemistry has received much inspiration and benefit from trying to understand morphogenesis; the origin, growth and form of nanomaterials that abound in nature, exemplified by the structure, properties, and function of tough mollusk nacre, colorful butterfly wings, iridiophores and beetle cuticle; porous diatom, radiolarian, echinoderm and coccolithophore micro-skeletons; spicules and spines of sponges and stinging nettles, sticky gecko's feet and self-cleaning lotus leaves, hierarchical architecture of wood and bone, and the photosynthetic solar fuels machine.

This insight into Nature's morphogenesis has enabled "morphosynthesis", the development of bottom-up auto-construction strategies, such as self-assembly, co-assembly, directed-assembly, shape-assembly, oriented-assembly and hierarchical-assembly, for making new classes of nanomaterials with tailored form in the laboratory: nanocomposites and nanostructured surfaces, nanocrystals and nanoporous solids, nanomotors and nanomachines.

Knowledge of the structure and properties of Nature's nanomaterials over "all" scales from the lowest to the highest level in the structural ladder, from nanoscopic to macroscopic constructions, has spawned new science, and engineering aimed at understanding new problems such as organic template-directed nucleation and growth of inorganic nanomaterials; mesocrystals, nanocrystal oriented growth, organic-inorganic epitaxy and interface engineering; formation of periodic micro-, meso- and macroporous inorganic particles, fibers and films, morphology control of inorganic materials with natural form, exemplified by the surfactant-templated sea-shell mimics having patterns and shapes reminiscent of the natural world shown in Figure 1; and chemically powered locomotion at the nanoscale, exemplified by catalytic nanorods, a futuristic playground poised to perform purposeful tasks in nanotechnology, and challenge conventional forms of diagnostics and theranostics in nanomedicine.

This gathering nanomaterials knowhow and momentum is providing numerous technological opportunities that embrace many fields of use, including adhesion and wettability controlled surfaces, food packaging and food quality control sensors, antireflection and high transparency glasses, self-cleaning and antibacterial coatings, tough corrosion resistant ceramic films, energy storage and conversion devices; porous solids for hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide storage as well as pesticide, herbicide and pharmaceutical targeted release systems; solar fuels catalysts, bone analogues for replacement, augmentation and repair, structural-color for security devices, displays, paints, cosmetics and chemical sensors, and nanomachines for seek-and-destroy missions, oil spill clean-up tasks, cargo pick-up and delivery, the holy-grail being targeted cancer therapy.Nanochemistry in Nature continues to prove itself as an inspiration for Nanochemistry in the laboratory!

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Wiley-VCH Materials Science Journals

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Biomimetics

Nanoribbons in solutions mimic nature: Rice University scientists test graphene ribbons' abilities to integrate with biological systems August 15th, 2016

IEEE ROBIO 2015 Call for Papers: 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics - December 6-9, 2015, Zhuhai, China July 19th, 2015

Biomimetic dew harvesters: Understanding how a desert beetle harvests water from dew could improve drinking water collection in dew condensers December 8th, 2014

Peptoid Nanosheets at the Oil/Water Interface: Berkeley Lab Reports New Route to Novel Family of Biomimetic Materials September 3rd, 2014

Nanomedicine

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 2016

Tunneling nanotubes between neurons enable the spread of Parkinson's disease via lysosomes August 24th, 2016

Discoveries

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Announcements

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic