Biomimicry
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Biomimicry
Nature inspired innovation
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Lizard's Water-Funnelling Skin Copied in the Lab

Lizard's Water-Funnelling Skin Copied in the Lab | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Scientists have unpicked how the skin of the Texas horned lizard funnels water towards its mouth - and copied the principles in a plastic version. This reptile can collect water from anywhere, including the sand it walks on; the fluid then travels to its mouth through channels between its scales. A German-Austrian team quantified the skin's key features, notably the way its grooves narrow towards the snout. The bio-inspired plastic copy could have some engineering applications. Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the researchers suggest that the "passive, directional liquid transport" they have described might find a home in distilleries, heat exchangers, or small medical devices where condensation is a problem."

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Snake Skin Inspired Surfaces Smash Records, Providing 40 Percent Friction Reduction

Snake Skin Inspired Surfaces Smash Records, Providing 40 Percent Friction Reduction | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Snake skin inspired surfaces smash records, providing an astonishing 40% friction reduction in tests of high performance materials. These new surfaces could improve the reliability of mechanical components in machines such as high performance cars and add grist to the mill of engineers designing a new generation of space exploration robots."

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​In the Future, Your City Could Change Colors Like an Octopus

​In the Future, Your City Could Change Colors Like an Octopus | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Most of us were born and will die a certain color, but octopuses are masters of their hue, changing from transparent to shades of red, pink, purple and blue by stretching and relaxing their skin. If we could unlock their secret and wrap our buildings in octopus skin, then city skylines might shimmer a spectrum of colors and opacities as the sun waxed and waned."

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Squid-skin Displays Bring Us Closer to Biotech Camouflage

Squid-skin Displays Bring Us Closer to Biotech Camouflage | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Cephalopods are curious creatures, able to flex their bodies into nifty shapes and camouflage themselves from sight. Unsurprisingly, they have also been inspiring biomimicry-led designs for years because of this. This month a paper to be published in Nature Communications deals with their flexi-strechy skills and describes how man can now engineer an elastic film that lights up when stimulated using electricity. Meanwhile, a team of US material scientists has opted to create a new method of colour display using a technique they say will get us that much closer to the holy grail of cephalopod biomimicry studies: camouflaging "squid skin" that morphs into background shades automatically, (otherwise known as a metamaterial)."

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Sharks Have Tough Skin Worthy of Biomimicry

Sharks Have Tough Skin Worthy of Biomimicry | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Sharks have tough skin that is worthy of biomimicry by nanotechnology designers and engineers. New coatings, textiles and other technologies that mimic the special biological properties of shark skin have been developed in recent years and many more such innovations are emerging across multiple industries."

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Synthetic Shark Skin Swimsuits Make Swimming Faster

Synthetic Shark Skin Swimsuits Make Swimming Faster | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Harvard scientists say that they've managed to replicate one of the most fascinating organs of the animal kingdom in a lab. Their finely-detailed synthetic shark skin could make some of the fastest underwater robots around, and maybe even one day grace human wetsuits or the hulls of ships."

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Physicists Work Out Why Wet Skin Wrinkles

Physicists Work Out Why Wet Skin Wrinkles | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"If you have ever sat in the bath and wondered why your fingers go wrinkly when wet, it is because the dead outer layer of your skin is made up of matrix-like structures called corneocytes. They let the skin absorb water easily when wet, yet quickly become much less permeable to moisture when conditions are dry. Physicists in Germany have now modelled a corneocyte and carried out calculations to see how its volume changes as it takes up water. As well as providing important information about how our skin reacts to its surroundings, the new work could help researchers to develop new materials, such as fabrics, that mimic the properties of skin."

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Arjen ten Have's comment, February 7, 2014 3:02 PM
This explains how it works, nothing to do with why. This was elucidated last year or thereabouts. Wrinkling of hands (and feet which are basically clumsy hands) result in inclreased sliding resistance, hence, things becomes less slippery when wet!
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A Warm House Thanks to Polar Bear Principle

A Warm House Thanks to Polar Bear Principle | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] the ‘polar bear pavilion’ is a prototype of a textile membrane structure, which offers new energy saving solutions for human habitations. The name says it all – despite the fact it is not intended for them, the inspiration for the outer layer of the building came from polar bears. “We came across the polar bear principle when we were studying older bionics books from the 1980s and decided to use it for our work on textile membrane structures. Rather than copying it directly, we studied the physical properties of polar bear skin and used other materials to imitate it,” said project leader Dr. Thomas Stegmaier of the Institute of Textile Technology and Process Engineering (ITV) in Denkendorf. "

 

Photo details: Polar Bear (Sow) , Kaktovik, Barter Island, Alaska. Copyright © 2007, Alan D. Wilson. http://www.naturespicsonline.com

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5 Smart Building Skins That Breathe, Farm Energy, and Gobble Up Toxins

5 Smart Building Skins That Breathe, Farm Energy, and Gobble Up Toxins | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Technically speaking, the smart facade-or building envelope that adapts to environmental conditions-dates back to the first window. But the contemporary idea of the smart facade has only been around for a few short decades, helped along by recent advances in chemical and material science. And over the past three years, we've seen the category boom. Below, check out some of the most interesting building facades to come across the screen in recent years: From a thermal metal screen that curls up when it's hot, to a titanium dioxide-covered wall that scrubs the air of pollutants."

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Cheap, Pressure-Sensing ‘Electronic Skin’

Cheap, Pressure-Sensing ‘Electronic Skin’ | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

In a series of demonstrations (published in Nature Materials), scientists at Seoul National University’s Multiscale Biomimetic Systems Laboratory showed off a pressure-sensing membrane that is sensitive enough to feel the fall of water droplets, a human pulse in the wrist, and even the whisper-light tread of a lady-bug walking across the “electronic skin.” True to its “biomimetic” creed, the group took its cue from the signal transduction systems found in the ear, intestines, and kidney—nanoscopic hairs that interlock and produce signals by rubbing one another when their base membranes dent, ripple, or twist. They also added a self-assembly feature inspired by the locking mechanism on a beetle’s wing.

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Researchers Use Multi-material 3D Printing to Fabricate the First Biomimetic Shark Skin

Researchers Use Multi-material 3D Printing to Fabricate the First Biomimetic Shark Skin | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Scientists have been trying to unlock the secrets of shark skin for more than 50 years. The key to sharks' hydrodynamic prowess lies in how the rigid, tooth-like structures that coat their flexible skin change the flow of water as sharks swim forward – but attempts to quantify this effect have fallen short. After all, it's tough to fabricate a material that closely mimics shark skin, a marvel of Nature honed over the 400 million years that sharks have sleuthed the seas."

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Marcelo Errera's curator insight, July 14, 2015 8:03 PM

Mimicking is a great way of fast-forwarding the design process. It is a never ending process.

 

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Cuttlefish's Shifting Colors Could Be Reproduced in 'Artificial Skin'

Cuttlefish's Shifting Colors Could Be Reproduced in 'Artificial Skin' | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The shifting colors on the skin of cuttlefish and other cephalopods could lead to bio-inspired camouflage and signalling, researchers say.
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Hydroceramic Walls Could Cool Buildings By Sweating Like Human Skin

Hydroceramic Walls Could Cool Buildings By Sweating Like Human Skin | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Our reliance on air conditioning, however magical an innovation, has become a serious environmental burden. Which is why researchers in Barcelona designed a material they say can naturally cool rooms by about 5 degrees Celsius, using a moisture-absorbing polymer that "sweats" much like our own body.
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Healing Plastics And Reconnecting Circuitry. Biomimicry At It's Finest

Healing Plastics And Reconnecting Circuitry. Biomimicry At It's Finest | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A fascinating new programme highlights how new materials are being manufactured that can actually heal themselves. From ByteSizeScience – “Our latest episode explores materials that mimic the human skin’s ability to heal scratches and cuts. For a first-hand look at self-healing plastics, we visited the lab of Nancy Sottos, Ph.D., professor of engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Inspired by human skin, the plastics repair themselves by “bleeding” healing agents when they are cut or scratched. This research offers the promise of cell phones, laptops, cars, and other products with self-repairing, longer-lasting surfaces.”"

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Camouflage Sheet Inspired by Octopus

Camouflage Sheet Inspired by Octopus | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Based on the camouflage abilities of octopuses and cuttlefish, engineers in the US have built a flexible material that changes colour to match its surroundings. The new design features a grid of 1mm cells, containing a temperature-driven dye that switches colour on demand."

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Biomimetics in Shaving

Biomimetics in Shaving | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Based on friction tests of surfaces mimicking the textures evolved on frog, cricket and salamander feet, Technion scientists innovate a way to significantly improve the shaving process. Technion scientists discovered a way to significantly improve shaving process, following friction tests of surfaces mimicking the textures evolved on frog, cricket and salamander feet."

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Turkeys Inspire Smartphone-Capable Early Warning System for Toxins

Turkeys Inspire Smartphone-Capable Early Warning System for Toxins | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Turkey skin [...], can shift from red to blue to white, thanks to bundles of collagen that are interspersed with a dense array of blood vessels. [...] Seung-Wuk Lee, UC Berkeley associate professor of bioengineering, led a research team in mimicking this color-changing ability to create biosensors that can detect volatile chemicals."



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New Artificial Skin is as Sensitive as Human Fingertips

New Artificial Skin is as Sensitive as Human Fingertips | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
By using a nano-sized 3D array, scientists have created "smart skin" that accurately mimics the sense of touch. It could eventually be used in robotics, human-computer interfaces, and advanced prosthetic devices.
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Sharklet: A Biotech Startup Fights Germs With Sharks

Sharklet: A Biotech Startup Fights Germs With Sharks | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Forget chemicals or pills in the fight against nasty bacterial infections. Entrepreneur Mark Spiecker is betting that the secrte lies with sharks. Those fast and carnivorous fish just happen to have microscopic textures on their skin that make them highly resistant to barnacles, algae and, surprisingly, most human bacteria."

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