Special Issue "Biomimetic Nanotechnology"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ille C. Gebeshuber

Institute of Applied Physics (IAP), Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), Wiedner Hauptstrasse 8-10/134, 1040 Vienna, Austria
Website | E-Mail
Phone: + 43 (0)1 58801 13483
Fax: +43 (0)1 58801 13499
Interests: tribology; nanotribology; green technology; positive technologies; systems approaches; complex systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomimetic nanotechnology relates to the most basic aspects of living systems and the transfer of their properties to human applications. Biological materials, structures and processes are predominantly based on functionalities at the nanoscale. These nanoscale functionalities are often peppered with added components embedded in beautiful hierarchical layers moving from the micro-, through the meso- and finally to the macroscale. This is of relevance in materials science, medicine, physics, sensor technologies, smart materials science, and many more fields.

Biomimetics of nanoscale features of living systems is highly challenging, interesting and rewarding. Yet, because of the inherent multifunctionality of most biological functions, sometimes it is complicated to isolate specific features that are interesting for potential novel applications in technology. Here, both smart approaches and a focus on properly identifying the underlying principles in nature are necessary for us to be able to transfer lessons from living systems to technology, science, engineering and the arts.

This Special Issue on Biomimetic Nanotechnology calls for contributions from researchers and thinkers in all realms of biomimetic nanotechnology, and welcomes theoretical, experimental and review contributions from biomimeticians, physicists, biologists, material scientists, engineers and mathematicians alike who are engaged and interested in this fast-growing field. Of specific interest for this Special Issue will be papers that touch upon safe nanotechnology and sustainable biomimetic nanotechnology, that facilitates the high potential of this great field in combination with inherent safety, for humans and nature.

Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Ille C. Gebeshuber
Guest Editor


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 papers will be 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 quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. 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

  • biomimetic nanotechnology
  • hierarchical material
  • nanoscale functionalities
  • nanoparticles
  • nanosystems
  • nanostructures
  • nanomaterials
  • programmable materials
  • tuneable materials with nanoscale functionalities
  • safe nanotechnology

Published Papers (8 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-8
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Interview with the Guest Editor—Ille C. Gebeshuber
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 14 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
PDF Full-text (311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ille C. Gebeshuber is Professor of Physics at the Institute of Applied Physics at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, where she graduated and completed her Ph.D. on technical biophysics of the inner ear in 1998. In 1999, she undertook postdoctoral training in
[...] Read more.
Ille C. Gebeshuber is Professor of Physics at the Institute of Applied Physics at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, where she graduated and completed her Ph.D. on technical biophysics of the inner ear in 1998. In 1999, she undertook postdoctoral training in scanning probe microscopy and biomimetics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA, and soon after she returned to Austria to her home university to work on ion surface interactions, tribology and (bio-)nanotechnology. From 2009 to 2015, she joined the Institute of Microengineering and Nanoelectronics at the National University of Malaysia. During her expeditions, together with her students from cultural diverse backgrounds and expertise, she learned from the rainforest how nature develops well-adapted structures and materials, inspiring her to apply these principles to solve technological problems for humans to face global challenges in a safe and sustainable way. Her research focuses on nanotechnology and biomimetics, and takes a multidisciplinary approach, from biology and engineering to the fine arts and the social sciences. In 2017, she was elected Austrian of the Year in the “Research” category. We asked Ille about her career, her thoughts about the potential of biomimetic nanotechnology, and her experience during her editorship with Biomimetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Nanotechnology)
Figures

Figure 1

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Variation of Goliathus orientalis (Moser, 1909) Elytra Nanostructurations and Their Impact on Wettability
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
PDF Full-text (27352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Among the different species of flower beetles, there is one of particular notoriety: the Goliath beetle. This large insect can grow up to 11 cm long and is well-known for its distinctive black and white shield. In this paper, we focus on a
[...] Read more.
Among the different species of flower beetles, there is one of particular notoriety: the Goliath beetle. This large insect can grow up to 11 cm long and is well-known for its distinctive black and white shield. In this paper, we focus on a particular Goliathus species: G. orientalis (Moser, 1909). We investigated the variations in properties of both the black and white parts of the upper face of G. orientalis; more precisely, the variation in surface properties with respect to the wettability of these two parts. This work reveals that the white parts of the shield have a higher hydrophobic character when compared to the black regions. While the black parts are slightly hydrophobic (θ = 91 ± 5°) and relatively smooth, the white parts are highly hydrophobic (θ = 130 ± 3°) with strong water adhesion (parahydrophobic); similar to the behavior observed for rose petals. Roughness and morphology analyses revealed significant differences between the two parts, and, hence, may explain the change in wettability. The white surfaces are covered with horizontally aligned nanohairs. Interestingly, vertically aligned microhairs are also present on the white surface. Furthermore, the surfaces of the microhairs are not smooth, they contain nanogrooves that are qualitatively similar to those observed in cactus spines. The nanogrooves may have an extremely important function regarding water harvesting, as they preferentially direct the migration of water droplets; this process could be mimicked in the future to capture and guide a large volume of water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Nanotechnology)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessCommunication Hepatocyte Aggregate Formation on Chitin-Based Anisotropic Microstructures of Butterfly Wings
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 13 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
PDF Full-text (3021 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Scaffold nanotopography plays the most significant role in the mimicry of the in vivo microenvironment of the hepatocytes. Several attempts have been made to develop methods and substrates suited to growing hepatocytes into aggregates. Functional biomaterials, particularly biodegradable polymers, have been used in
[...] Read more.
Scaffold nanotopography plays the most significant role in the mimicry of the in vivo microenvironment of the hepatocytes. Several attempts have been made to develop methods and substrates suited to growing hepatocytes into aggregates. Functional biomaterials, particularly biodegradable polymers, have been used in several studies aimed to develop improved scaffolds with ordered geometry and nanofibrous architecture for tissue engineering. However, there are still some limitation in their fabrication: it is not cost-efficient, is time-consuming, and exhibits some technological complications. The synthetic scaffolds are usually non-biodegradable and can be non-biocompatible compared to the naturally derived biomaterials. Here, we utilized a simple, cost-effective, and green method with two-step chemical treatment to get more selected hydrophilic butterfly wings from Morpho menelaus, Papilio ulysses telegonus, and Ornithoptera croesus lydius as a chitin-based natural scaffolds to growing hepatocyte aggregates. We established a three-dimensional (3D) in vitro model for culture of HepG2 cells and aggregate formation that maintained the hepatocytes function on these natural anisotropic microstructures. Cells cultured on these substrates show higher viability than those cultured on a two-dimensional (2D) culture plate. Methylthiazolyldiphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay results revealed excellent viability of HepG2 cells on P. u. telegonus wings (fibrous area). The results also demonstrated appropriate cell activity, cell retention, and stable and functional expression in terms of albumin secretion and urea synthesis activity compared to the 2D monolayer culture of hepatocytes on the culture dish surface. With a slightly different degree, the other substrates also shown similar results. We anticipate that these natural anisotropic, biodegradable, and biocompatible substrates can maintain long-term hepatic culture as an in vitro 3D model for potential therapeutic applications and regenerative tissue applications. The model presented here provides a feasible alternative to the synthetic scaffolds and is expected to be more reliable for 3D organotypic liver culture models based on such scaffolds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Nanotechnology)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle EDTA and NTA Effectively Tune the Mineralization of Calcium Phosphate from Bulk Aqueous Solution
Biomimetics 2017, 2(4), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics2040024
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
PDF Full-text (28036 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study describes the effects of nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) and ethylenediaminotetraacetic acid (EDTA) on the mineralization of calcium phosphate from bulk aqueous solution. Mineralization was performed between pH 6 and 9 and with NTA or EDTA concentrations of 0, 5, 10, and 15
[...] Read more.
This study describes the effects of nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) and ethylenediaminotetraacetic acid (EDTA) on the mineralization of calcium phosphate from bulk aqueous solution. Mineralization was performed between pH 6 and 9 and with NTA or EDTA concentrations of 0, 5, 10, and 15 mM. X-ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy show that at low pH, mainly brushite precipitates and at higher pH, mostly hydroxyapatite forms. Both additives alter the morphology of the precipitates. Without additive, brushite precipitates as large plates. With NTA, the morphology changes to an unusual rod-like shape. With EDTA, the edges of the particles are rounded and disk-like particles form. Conductivity and pH measurements suggest that the final products form through several intermediate steps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Nanotechnology)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Biomimetic Cationic Nanoparticles Based on Silica: Optimizing Bilayer Deposition from Lipid Films
Biomimetics 2017, 2(4), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics2040020
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2169 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The optimization of bilayer coverage on particles is important for a variety of biomedical applications, such as drug, vaccine, and genetic material delivery. This work aims at optimizing the deposition of cationic bilayers on silica over a range of experimental conditions for the
[...] Read more.
The optimization of bilayer coverage on particles is important for a variety of biomedical applications, such as drug, vaccine, and genetic material delivery. This work aims at optimizing the deposition of cationic bilayers on silica over a range of experimental conditions for the intervening medium and two different assemblies for the cationic lipid, namely, lipid films or pre-formed lipid bilayer fragments. The lipid adsorption on silica in situ over a range of added lipid concentrations was determined from elemental analysis of carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen and related to the colloidal stability, sizing, zeta potential, and polydispersity of the silica/lipid nanoparticles. Superior bilayer deposition took place from lipid films, whereas adsorption from pre-formed bilayer fragments yielded limiting adsorption below the levels expected for bilayer adsorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Nanotechnology)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Targeting Early Dementia: Using Lipid Cubic Phase Nanocarriers to Cross the Blood–Brain Barrier
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
PDF Full-text (278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the past decades, a frequent co-morbidity of cerebrovascular pathology and Alzheimer’s disease has been observed. Numerous published studies indicate that the preservation of a healthy cerebrovascular endothelium can be an important therapeutic target. By incorporating the appropriate drug(s) into biomimetic (lipid cubic
[...] Read more.
Over the past decades, a frequent co-morbidity of cerebrovascular pathology and Alzheimer’s disease has been observed. Numerous published studies indicate that the preservation of a healthy cerebrovascular endothelium can be an important therapeutic target. By incorporating the appropriate drug(s) into biomimetic (lipid cubic phase) nanocarriers, one obtains a multitasking combination therapeutic, which targets certain cell surface scavenger receptors, mainly class B type I (i.e., SR-BI), and crosses the blood–brain barrier. This targeting allows for various cell types related to Alzheimer’s to be simultaneously searched out for localized drug treatment in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Nanotechnology)
Open AccessReview Protein-Mediated Biotemplating on the Nanoscale
Biomimetics 2017, 2(3), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics2030014
Received: 22 May 2017 / Revised: 18 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2207 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Purified proteins offer a homogeneous population of biological nanoparticles, equipped in many cases with specific binding sites enabling the directed self-assembly of envisaged one-, two- or three-dimensional arrays. These arrays may serve as nanoscale biotemplates for the preparation of novel functional composite materials,
[...] Read more.
Purified proteins offer a homogeneous population of biological nanoparticles, equipped in many cases with specific binding sites enabling the directed self-assembly of envisaged one-, two- or three-dimensional arrays. These arrays may serve as nanoscale biotemplates for the preparation of novel functional composite materials, which exhibit potential applications, especially in the fields of nanoelectronics and optical devices. This review provides an overview of the field of protein-mediated biotemplating, focussing on achievements made throughout the past decade. It is comprised of seven sections designed according to the size and configuration of the protein-made biotemplate. Each section describes the design and size of the biotemplate, the resulting hybrid structures, the fabrication methodology, the analytical tools employed for the structural analysis of the hybrids obtained, and, finally, their claimed/intended applications and a feasibility demonstration (whenever available). In conclusion, a short assessment of the overall status of the achievements already made vs. the future challenges of this field is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Nanotechnology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Influence of Nanotechnology and the Role of Nanostructures in Biomimetic Studies and Their Potential Applications
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
PDF Full-text (4590 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the advent of nanotechnology, by looking further deep down into the molecular level, today, we are able to understand basic and applied sciences even better than ever before. Not only has nanoscience and nanotechnology allowed us to study the composing structures of
[...] Read more.
With the advent of nanotechnology, by looking further deep down into the molecular level, today, we are able to understand basic and applied sciences even better than ever before. Not only has nanoscience and nanotechnology allowed us to study the composing structures of materials in detail, it has also allowed us to fabricate and synthesize such nanostructures using top-down and bottom-up approaches. One such field, which has been significantly influenced by the dawn of nanotechnology is biomimetics. With powerful spectroscopic and microscopic tools presenting us with images like double nanostructured pillars on the lotus surface for superhydrophobicity, the conical protuberances of moth eye demonstrating anti-reflection properties and nanostructured spatulae of gecko feet for high adhesivity, we are now able to fabricate these structures in the lab with properties showing close resemblance to their natural counterparts. Here, we present a review of various nanostructures that exist in nature, their fabrication techniques and some of their promising future applications. We hope this review will provide the reader with a basic understanding of what biomimetics is and how nanotechnology has significantly influenced this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Nanotechnology)
Figures

Figure 1

Back to Top