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Special Issue "Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Frank A. Müller

Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Otto Schott Institute of Materials Research (OSIM), Colloids, Surfaces, and Interfaces (CSI), Löbdergraben 32, 07743 Jena, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: bio-inspired materials; biomaterials; biomineralization; laser materials processing; additive manufacturing; surface modification; nanoparticles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Throughout evolution, biological organisms have developed efficient strategies to solve technical problems by synthesizing appropriate natural materials. These materials often outperform man-made materials of similar composition. Bioinspired materials are synthetic materials of which structure, properties or function mimic those of natural materials. Examples of bioinspired materials are water collecting surfaces inspired by the head-stander beetle, light-harvesting photonic materials that mimic photosynthesis, camera lenses inspired by compound eyes of insects, and hybrid structures that mimic the hierarchical architecture of nacre, antler, or bone. By looking at nature’s strategies to fabricate materials, we could exceedingly benefit from the underlying concepts of self-assembly and biomineralization to design, e.g., smart adaptive surfaces or hierarchically organized functional hybrids for a variety of practical applications.

This Special Issue covers the whole spectrum of bioinspired and biomimetic materials with a particular emphasis placed on the design of smart materials. Based on unlocking nature’s building principles, novel concepts and strategies to engineer bioinspired materials and surfaces will be highlighted. The performance and application of bioinspired devices in the fields of biomaterials, optics, energy and environmental technology will be discussed. In addition, the modeling of structure-property relations and the simulation of bioinspired materials on all length scales will be topics of specific interest.

It is our pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full papers, short communications, as well as reviews, would be greatly appreciated.

Prof. Dr. Frank A. Müller
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. Materials 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 1500 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.


Keywords

  • concepts and strategies to fabricate bioinspired materials
  • application and performance of bioinspired devices (e.g., biomaterials, optical materials, sensors, actuators, materials for energy harvesting, conversion, and storage)
  • structure and mechanics of biological and bioinspired materials
  • processing and application of biomimetic surfaces
  • self-assembly, biomineralization, and hierarchical organization
  • cellular materials and bioinspired lightweight construction
  • smart materials (e.g., adaptive, stimuli-responsive, self-healing)
  • biomechanics including movement, locomotion, and fluidics
  • modeling of structure-property relations
  • simulation of bioinspired materials at all length scales

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Design of Decorated Self-Assembling Peptide Hydrogels as Architecture for Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Materials 2016, 9(9), 727; doi:10.3390/ma9090727
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 18 August 2016 / Accepted: 19 August 2016 / Published: 26 August 2016
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Abstract
Hydrogels from self-assembling ionic complementary peptides have been receiving a lot of interest from the scientific community as mimetic of the extracellular matrix that can offer three-dimensional supports for cell growth or can become vehicles for the delivery of stem cells, drugs or
[...] Read more.
Hydrogels from self-assembling ionic complementary peptides have been receiving a lot of interest from the scientific community as mimetic of the extracellular matrix that can offer three-dimensional supports for cell growth or can become vehicles for the delivery of stem cells, drugs or bioactive proteins. In order to develop a 3D “architecture” for mesenchymal stem cells, we propose the introduction in the hydrogel of conjugates obtained by chemoselective ligation between a ionic-complementary self-assembling peptide (called EAK) and three different bioactive molecules: an adhesive sequence with 4 Glycine-Arginine-Glycine-Aspartic Acid-Serine-Proline (GRGDSP) motifs per chain, an adhesive peptide mapped on h-Vitronectin and the growth factor Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1). The mesenchymal stem cell adhesion assays showed a significant increase in adhesion and proliferation for the hydrogels decorated with each of the synthesized conjugates; moreover, such functionalized 3D hydrogels support cell spreading and elongation, validating the use of this class of self-assembly peptides-based material as very promising 3D model scaffolds for cell cultures, at variance of the less realistic 2D ones. Furthermore, small amplitude oscillatory shear tests showed that the presence of IGF-1-conjugate did not alter significantly the viscoelastic properties of the hydrogels even though differences were observed in the nanoscale structure of the scaffolds obtained by changing their composition, ranging from long, well-defined fibers for conjugates with adhesion sequences to the compact and dense film for the IGF-1-conjugate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials)
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Open AccessArticle A Review of Natural Joint Systems and Numerical Investigation of Bio-Inspired GFRP-to-Steel Joints
Materials 2016, 9(7), 566; doi:10.3390/ma9070566
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 1 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
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Abstract
There are a great variety of joint types used in nature which can inspire engineering joints. In order to design such biomimetic joints, it is at first important to understand how biological joints work. A comprehensive literature review, considering natural joints from a
[...] Read more.
There are a great variety of joint types used in nature which can inspire engineering joints. In order to design such biomimetic joints, it is at first important to understand how biological joints work. A comprehensive literature review, considering natural joints from a mechanical point of view, was undertaken. This was used to develop a taxonomy based on the different methods/functions that nature successfully uses to attach dissimilar tissues. One of the key methods that nature uses to join dissimilar materials is a transitional zone of stiffness at the insertion site. This method was used to propose bio-inspired solutions with a transitional zone of stiffness at the joint site for several glass fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP) to steel adhesively bonded joint configurations. The transition zone was used to reduce the material stiffness mismatch of the joint parts. A numerical finite element model was used to identify the optimum variation in material stiffness that minimises potential failure of the joint. The best bio-inspired joints showed a 118% increase of joint strength compared to the standard joints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials)
Open AccessArticle Preparation of a Carbon Doped Tissue-Mimicking Material with High Dielectric Properties for Microwave Imaging Application
Materials 2016, 9(7), 559; doi:10.3390/ma9070559
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 6 July 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 9 July 2016
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Abstract
In this paper, the oil-in-gelatin based tissue-mimicking materials (TMMs) doped with carbon based materials including carbon nanotube, graphene ink or lignin were prepared. The volume percent for gelatin based mixtures and oil based mixtures were both around 50%, and the doping amounts were
[...] Read more.
In this paper, the oil-in-gelatin based tissue-mimicking materials (TMMs) doped with carbon based materials including carbon nanotube, graphene ink or lignin were prepared. The volume percent for gelatin based mixtures and oil based mixtures were both around 50%, and the doping amounts were 2 wt %, 4 wt %, and 6 wt %. The effect of doping material and amount on the microwave dielectric properties including dielectric constant and conductivity were investigated over an ultra-wide frequency range from 2 GHz to 20 GHz. The coaxial open-ended reflection technology was used to evaluate the microwave dielectric properties. Six measured values in different locations of each sample were averaged and the standard deviations of all the measured dielectric properties, including dielectric constant and conductivity, were less than one, indicating a good uniformity of the prepared samples. Without doping, the dielectric constant was equal to 23 ± 2 approximately. Results showed with doping of carbon based materials that the dielectric constant and conductivity both increased about 5% to 20%, and the increment was dependent on the doping amount. By proper selection of doping amount of the carbon based materials, the prepared material could map the required dielectric properties of special tissues. The proposed materials were suitable for the phantom used in the microwave medical imaging system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials)
Open AccessArticle Experimental and Finite Element Investigations of Damage Resistance in Biomimetic Composite Sandwich T-Joints
Materials 2016, 9(7), 510; doi:10.3390/ma9070510
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5508 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Composite sandwich structural joints, such as T-joints, are used in many different composite applications to transfers the load orthogonally between two sandwich elements. However, these joints connecting the sections can represent the weakest link in sandwich composite structures due to the lack of
[...] Read more.
Composite sandwich structural joints, such as T-joints, are used in many different composite applications to transfers the load orthogonally between two sandwich elements. However, these joints connecting the sections can represent the weakest link in sandwich composite structures due to the lack of reinforcement in the out-of-plane direction. Therefore, this paper presents a new methodology for the design and analysis of composite sandwich T-joints using new biomimetic fabrication methods. The fabricated idea comes from biological fixed joints as an evolutionary alteration processes of trunk-branches of trees. It offers unique attributes to optimize the continuous fiber paths for minimum stress concentrations and multi-sandwich layers to increase the bending stiffness and strength. The focus is on how the biomimetic technique can improve sandwich T-joint structures by increasing their strength and load carrying capability without adding a significant weight penalty. The major attention is to investigate the comprehensive failure modes in the joint numerically and verified by experiments. Investigations were conducted on three different designs of biomimetic composite sandwich T-joints under tension and bending loads. The results show significant improvements to the ultimate load up to 68% in the case of bending load and 40% in the case of pull-off load in the biomimetic sandwich T-joints compared to the reference conventional T-joint design. The final failure was significantly deferred in both load status. The FE models provided important insights into the core failure and delamination of multi-interface biomimetic T-joints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Nanoporous Monolithic Microsphere Arrays Have Anti-Adhesive Properties Independent of Humidity
Materials 2016, 9(5), 373; doi:10.3390/ma9050373
Received: 19 April 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 14 May 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1610 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bioinspired artificial surfaces with tailored adhesive properties have attracted significant interest. While fibrillar adhesive pads mimicking gecko feet are optimized for strong reversible adhesion, monolithic microsphere arrays mimicking the slippery zone of the pitchers of carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes show anti-adhesive
[...] Read more.
Bioinspired artificial surfaces with tailored adhesive properties have attracted significant interest. While fibrillar adhesive pads mimicking gecko feet are optimized for strong reversible adhesion, monolithic microsphere arrays mimicking the slippery zone of the pitchers of carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes show anti-adhesive properties even against tacky counterpart surfaces. In contrast to the influence of topography, the influence of relative humidity (RH) on adhesion has been widely neglected. Some previous works deal with the influence of RH on the adhesive performance of fibrillar adhesive pads. Commonly, humidity-induced softening of the fibrils enhances adhesion. However, little is known on the influence of RH on solid anti-adhesive surfaces. We prepared polymeric nanoporous monolithic microsphere arrays (NMMAs) with microsphere diameters of a few 10 µm to test their anti-adhesive properties at RHs of 2% and 90%. Despite the presence of continuous nanopore systems through which the inner nanopore walls were accessible to humid air, the topography-induced anti-adhesive properties of NMMAs on tacky counterpart surfaces were retained even at RH = 90%. This RH-independent robustness of the anti-adhesive properties of NMMAs significantly contrasts the adhesion enhancement by humidity-induced softening on nanoporous fibrillar adhesive pads made of the same material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials)
Open AccessArticle Nanotextured Shrink Wrap Superhydrophobic Surfaces by Argon Plasma Etching
Materials 2016, 9(3), 196; doi:10.3390/ma9030196
Received: 11 January 2016 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 14 March 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2825 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We present a rapid, simple, and scalable approach to achieve superhydrophobic (SH) substrates directly in commodity shrink wrap film utilizing Argon (Ar) plasma. Ar plasma treatment creates a stiff skin layer on the surface of the shrink film. When the film shrinks, the
[...] Read more.
We present a rapid, simple, and scalable approach to achieve superhydrophobic (SH) substrates directly in commodity shrink wrap film utilizing Argon (Ar) plasma. Ar plasma treatment creates a stiff skin layer on the surface of the shrink film. When the film shrinks, the mismatch in stiffness between the stiff skin layer and bulk shrink film causes the formation of multiscale hierarchical wrinkles with nano-textured features. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images confirm the presence of these biomimetic structures. Contact angle (CA) and contact angle hysteresis (CAH) measurements, respectively, defined as values greater than 150° and less than 10°, verified the SH nature of the substrates. Furthermore, we demonstrate the ability to reliably pattern hydrophilic regions onto the SH substrates, allowing precise capture and detection of proteins in urine. Finally, we achieved self-driven microfluidics via patterning contrasting superhydrophilic microchannels on the SH Ar substrates to induce flow for biosensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Bio-Inspired Functional Surfaces Based on Laser-Induced Periodic Surface Structures
Materials 2016, 9(6), 476; doi:10.3390/ma9060476
Received: 28 April 2016 / Revised: 6 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (10255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nature developed numerous solutions to solve various technical problems related to material surfaces by combining the physico-chemical properties of a material with periodically aligned micro/nanostructures in a sophisticated manner. The utilization of ultra-short pulsed lasers allows mimicking numerous of these features by generating
[...] Read more.
Nature developed numerous solutions to solve various technical problems related to material surfaces by combining the physico-chemical properties of a material with periodically aligned micro/nanostructures in a sophisticated manner. The utilization of ultra-short pulsed lasers allows mimicking numerous of these features by generating laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS). In this review paper, we describe the physical background of LIPSS generation as well as the physical principles of surface related phenomena like wettability, reflectivity, and friction. Then we introduce several biological examples including e.g., lotus leafs, springtails, dessert beetles, moth eyes, butterfly wings, weevils, sharks, pangolins, and snakes to illustrate how nature solves technical problems, and we give a comprehensive overview of recent achievements related to the utilization of LIPSS to generate superhydrophobic, anti-reflective, colored, and drag resistant surfaces. Finally, we conclude with some future developments and perspectives related to forthcoming applications of LIPSS-based surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials)
Open AccessReview Bioinspired Materials for Water Purification
Materials 2016, 9(6), 447; doi:10.3390/ma9060447
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1449 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water scarcity issues associated with inadequate access to clean water and sanitation is a ubiquitous problem occurring globally. Addressing future challenges will require a combination of new technological development in water purification and environmental remediation technology with suitable conservation policies. In this scenario,
[...] Read more.
Water scarcity issues associated with inadequate access to clean water and sanitation is a ubiquitous problem occurring globally. Addressing future challenges will require a combination of new technological development in water purification and environmental remediation technology with suitable conservation policies. In this scenario, new bioinspired materials will play a pivotal role in the development of more efficient and environmentally friendly solutions. The role of amphiphilic self-assembly on the fabrication of new biomimetic membranes for membrane separation like reverse osmosis is emphasized. Mesoporous support materials for semiconductor growth in the photocatalytic degradation of pollutants and new carriers for immobilization of bacteria in bioreactors are used in the removal and processing of different kind of water pollutants like heavy metals. Obstacles to improve and optimize the fabrication as well as a better understanding of their performance in small-scale and pilot purification systems need to be addressed. However, it is expected that these new biomimetic materials will find their way into the current water purification technologies to improve their purification/removal performance in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials)
Open AccessReview Fiber-Embedded Metallic Materials: From Sensing towards Nervous Behavior
Materials 2015, 8(11), 7938-7961; doi:10.3390/ma8115435
Received: 15 October 2015 / Revised: 8 November 2015 / Accepted: 9 November 2015 / Published: 24 November 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (10491 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Embedding of fibers in materials has attracted serious attention from researchers and has become a new research trend. Such material structures are usually termed “smart” or more recently “nervous”. Materials can have the capability of sensing and responding to the surrounding environmental stimulus,
[...] Read more.
Embedding of fibers in materials has attracted serious attention from researchers and has become a new research trend. Such material structures are usually termed “smart” or more recently “nervous”. Materials can have the capability of sensing and responding to the surrounding environmental stimulus, in the former, and the capability of feeling multiple structural and external stimuli, while feeding information back to a controller for appropriate real-time action, in the latter. In this paper, embeddable fibers, embedding processes, and behavior of fiber-embedded metallic materials are reviewed. Particular emphasis has been given to embedding fiber Bragg grating (FBG) array sensors and piezo wires, because of their high potential to be used in nervous materials for structural health monitoring. Ultrasonic consolidation and laser-based layered manufacturing processes are discussed in detail because of their high potential to integrate fibers without disruption. In addition, current challenges associated with embedding fibers in metallic materials are highlighted and recommendations for future research work are set. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials)
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