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Biomimetics, Volume 3, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Biomechanical Modeling of Prosthetic Mesh and Human Tissue Surrogate Interaction
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030027
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 9 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
Surgical repair of hernia and prolapse with prosthetic meshes are well-known to cause pain, infection, hernia recurrence, and mesh contraction and failures. In literature, mesh failure mechanics have been studied with uniaxial, biaxial, and cyclic load testing of dry and wet meshes. Also,
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Surgical repair of hernia and prolapse with prosthetic meshes are well-known to cause pain, infection, hernia recurrence, and mesh contraction and failures. In literature, mesh failure mechanics have been studied with uniaxial, biaxial, and cyclic load testing of dry and wet meshes. Also, extensive experimental studies have been conducted on surrogates, such as non-human primates and rodents, to understand the effect of mesh stiffness, pore size, and knitting patterns on mesh biocompatibility. However, the mechanical properties of such animal tissue surrogates are widely different from human tissues. Therefore, to date, mechanics of the interaction between mesh and human tissues is poorly understood. This work addresses this gap in literature by experimentally and computationally modeling the biomechanical behavior of mesh, sutured to human tissue phantom under tension. A commercially available mesh (Prolene®) was sutured to vaginal tissue phantom material and tested at different uniaxial strains and strain rates. Global and local stresses at the tissue phantom, suture, and mesh were analyzed. The results of this study provide important insights into the mechanics of prosthetic mesh failure and will be indispensable for better mesh design in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Chemistry of Polydopamine Film Formation: The Amine-Quinone Interplay
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030026
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
Despite extensive investigations over the past decade, the chemical basis of the extraordinary underwater adhesion properties of polydopamine (PDA) has remained not entirely understood. The bulk of evidence points to PDA wet adhesion as a complex process based on film deposition, and growth
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Despite extensive investigations over the past decade, the chemical basis of the extraordinary underwater adhesion properties of polydopamine (PDA) has remained not entirely understood. The bulk of evidence points to PDA wet adhesion as a complex process based on film deposition, and growth in which primary amine groups, besides catechol moieties, play a central role. However, the detailed interplay of chemical interactions underlying the dynamics of film formation has not yet been elucidated. Herein, we report the results of a series of experiments showing that coating formation from dopamine at pH 9.0 in carbonate buffer: (a) Requires high dopamine concentrations (>1 mM); (b) is due to species produced in the early stages of dopamine autoxidation; (c) is accelerated by equimolar amounts of periodate causing fast conversion to the o-quinone; and (d) is enhanced by the addition of hexamethylenediamine (HMDA) and other long chain aliphatic amines even at low dopamine concentrations (<1 mM). It is proposed that concentration-dependent PDA film formation reflects the competition between intermolecular amine-quinone condensation processes, leading to adhesive cross-linked oligomer structures, and the intramolecular cyclization route forming little adhesive 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) units. Film growth would then be sustained by dopamine and other soluble species that can be adsorbed on the surface. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Control Synergies for Rapid Stabilization and Enlarged Region of Attraction for a Model of Hopping
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030025
Received: 29 July 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 1 September 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
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Abstract
Inspired by biological control synergies, wherein fixed groups of muscles are activated in a coordinated fashion to perform tasks in a stable way, we present an analogous control approach for the stabilization of legged robots and apply it to a model of running.
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Inspired by biological control synergies, wherein fixed groups of muscles are activated in a coordinated fashion to perform tasks in a stable way, we present an analogous control approach for the stabilization of legged robots and apply it to a model of running. Our approach is based on the step-to-step notion of stability, also known as orbital stability, using an orbital control Lyapunov function. We map both the robot state at a suitably chosen Poincaré section (an instant in the locomotion cycle such as the mid-flight phase) and control actions (e.g., foot placement angle, thrust force, braking force) at the current step, to the robot state at the Poincaré section at the next step. This map is used to find the control action that leads to a steady state (nominal) gait. Next, we define a quadratic Lyapunov function at the Poincaré section. For a range of initial conditions, we find control actions that would minimize an energy metric while ensuring that the Lyapunov function decays exponentially fast between successive steps. For the model of running, we find that the optimization reveals three distinct control synergies depending on the initial conditions: (1) foot placement angle is used when total energy is the same as that of the steady state (nominal) gait; (2) foot placement angle and thrust force are used when total energy is less than the nominal; and (3) foot placement angle and braking force are used when total energy is more than the nominal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fiber Embroidery of Self-Sensing Soft Actuators
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030024
Received: 10 June 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 18 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
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Abstract
Natural organisms use a combination of contracting muscles and inextensible fibers to transform into controllable shapes, camouflage into their surrounding environment, and catch prey. Replicating these capabilities with engineered materials is challenging because of the difficulty in manufacturing and controlling soft material actuators
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Natural organisms use a combination of contracting muscles and inextensible fibers to transform into controllable shapes, camouflage into their surrounding environment, and catch prey. Replicating these capabilities with engineered materials is challenging because of the difficulty in manufacturing and controlling soft material actuators with embedded fibers. In addition, while linear and bending motions are common in soft actuators, rotary motions require three-dimensional fiber wrapping or multiple bending or linear elements working in coordination that are challenging to design and fabricate. In this work, an automatic embroidery machine patterned Kevlar™ fibers and stretchable optical fibers into inflatable silicone membranes to control their inflated shape and enable sensing. This embroidery-based fabrication technique is simple, low cost, and allows for precise and custom patterning of fibers in elastomers. Using this technique, we developed inflatable elastomeric actuators embedded with a planar spiral pattern of high-strength Kevlar™ fibers that inflate into radially symmetric shapes and achieve nearly 180° angular rotation and 10 cm linear displacement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Robotics)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of the Time of Salivary Contamination during Light Curing on Degree of Conversion and Microhardness of a Restorative Composite Resin
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030023
Received: 14 July 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 18 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
Saliva contamination is a major clinical problem in restorative procedures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of the time of salivary contamination during light curing on the degree of conversion and the microhardness of a restorative composite resin. Eight
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Saliva contamination is a major clinical problem in restorative procedures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of the time of salivary contamination during light curing on the degree of conversion and the microhardness of a restorative composite resin. Eight groups of 10 samples for measuring the microhardness and eight groups of 5 samples for evaluating the degree of conversion were prepared. The samples of each group were contaminated with human saliva at a certain time. The first group (T0) was contaminated before light curing. The specimens in groups T2–T30 were contaminated at 2, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 s after the start of light curing, respectively. The samples of group T40 were contaminated after light curing. The degree of conversion and the microhardness of the specimens were measured by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and Vickers hardness testing techniques, respectively. The results of this study revealed that there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of the degree of conversion of the composite resin. Consistent with the findings for the degree of conversion, significant differences in the microhardness between the groups were not found. In conclusion, from a clinical point of view, the results of our study showed that the time of salivary contamination (before, during or after light curing of composite resin) has no significant effect on the polymerization (degree of conversion) and one of the important mechanical properties of dental composite resins (microhardness). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Restorative Dentistry)
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Open AccessPerspective Biosafety of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030022
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
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Abstract
Careful analysis of any new nanomedicine device or disposal should be undertaken to comprehensively characterize the new product before application, so that any unintended side effect is minimized. Because of the increasing number of nanotechnology-based drugs, we can anticipate that regulatory authorities might
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Careful analysis of any new nanomedicine device or disposal should be undertaken to comprehensively characterize the new product before application, so that any unintended side effect is minimized. Because of the increasing number of nanotechnology-based drugs, we can anticipate that regulatory authorities might adapt the approval process for nanomedicine products due to safety concerns, e.g., request a more rigorous testing of the potential toxicity of nanoparticles (NPs). Currently, the use of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) as drug delivery systems is challenged by a lack of data on the toxicological profile of coated or non-coated MSN. In this context, we have carried out an extensive study documenting the influence of different functionalized MSN on the cellular internalization and in vivo behaviour. In this article, a synthesis of these works is reviewed and the perspectives are drawn. The use of magnetic MSN (Fe3O4@MSN) allows an efficient separation of coated NPs from cell cultures with a simple magnet, leading to results regarding corona formation without experimental bias. Our interest is focused on the mechanism of interaction with model membranes, the adsorption of proteins in biological fluids, the quantification of uptake, and the effect of such NPs on the transcriptomic profile of hepatic cells that are known to be readily concerned by NPs’ uptake in vivo, especially in the case of an intravenous injection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from NanoBio&Med 2017)
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Open AccessArticle On the Ability of Low Molecular Weight Chitosan Enzymatically Depolymerized to Produce and Stabilize Silver Nanoparticles
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030021 (registering DOI)
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
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Abstract
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are of great interest due to their antimicrobial, optical and catalytical properties. Green synthesis of AgNPs is fundamental for some applications such as biomedicine and catalysis. Natural polymers, such as chitosan, have been proposed as reducing and stabilizing agents in
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Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are of great interest due to their antimicrobial, optical and catalytical properties. Green synthesis of AgNPs is fundamental for some applications such as biomedicine and catalysis. Natural polymers, such as chitosan, have been proposed as reducing and stabilizing agents in the green synthesis of AgNPs. Physico-chemical properties of chitosan have a great impact on its technological and biological properties. In this paper, we explore the effect of chitosan molecular weight (Mw) on the thermal AgNPs production using two sample sets of low Mw chitosans (F1 > 30 kDa, F2: 30–10 kDa and F3: 10–5 kDa) produced by enzymatic depolymerization of a parent chitosan with chitosanase and lysozyme. Both polymer sets were able to effectively reduce Ag+ to Ag0 as the presence of the silver surface plasmon resonance (SRP) demonstrated. However, the ability to stabilize the nanoparticles depended not only on the Mw of the polymer but particularly on the polymer pattern which was determined by the enzyme used to depolymerize the parent chitosan. Low Mw chitosan samples produced by lysozyme were more effective than those produced by chitosanase to stabilize the AgNPs and smaller and less polydisperse nanoparticles were visualized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). With some polymer sets, more than 80% of the AgNPs produced were lower than 10 nm which correspond to quantum dots. The preparation method described in this paper is general and therefore, it may be extended to other noble metals, such as palladium, gold or platinum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin- and Chitosan-Based Composite Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Bioinspired Temperature-Responsive Multilayer Films and Their Performance under Thermal Fatigue
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030020
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 29 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
The structure of certain nonliving tissues determines their self-shaping and self-folding capabilities in response to a stimulus. Predetermined movements are realized according to changes in the environmental conditions due to the generated stresses of the multilayer anisotropic structure. In this study, we present
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The structure of certain nonliving tissues determines their self-shaping and self-folding capabilities in response to a stimulus. Predetermined movements are realized according to changes in the environmental conditions due to the generated stresses of the multilayer anisotropic structure. In this study, we present bioinspired responsive anisotropic multilayer films and their fabrication process which comprises low-cost techniques. The anisotropic multilayer materials are capable of deforming their geometry caused by small temperature changes (<40 °C). The mismatch in the thermo-mechanical properties between three or more anisotropic thin layers creates responsive materials that alter their shape owing to the developed internal stresses. The movements of the material can be controlled by forming anisotropic homogenous metallic strips over an anisotropic thermoplastic layer. As a result, responsive multilayer films made of common materials can be developed to passively react to a temperature stimulus. We demonstrate the ability of the anisotropic materials to transform their geometry and we present a promising fabrication process and the thermal fatigue resistance of the developed materials. The thermal fatigue performance is strongly related to the fabrication method and the thickness of the strips. We studied the thermal fatigue performance of the materials and how the thermal cycling affects their sensitivity, as well as their failure modes and crack formation. Full article
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Open AccessReview Alterations in Cellular Processes Involving Vesicular Trafficking and Implications in Drug Delivery
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030019
Received: 16 June 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
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Abstract
Endocytosis and vesicular trafficking are cellular processes that regulate numerous functions required to sustain life. From a translational perspective, they offer avenues to improve the access of therapeutic drugs across cellular barriers that separate body compartments and into diseased cells. However, the fact
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Endocytosis and vesicular trafficking are cellular processes that regulate numerous functions required to sustain life. From a translational perspective, they offer avenues to improve the access of therapeutic drugs across cellular barriers that separate body compartments and into diseased cells. However, the fact that many factors have the potential to alter these routes, impacting our ability to effectively exploit them, is often overlooked. Altered vesicular transport may arise from the molecular defects underlying the pathological syndrome which we aim to treat, the activity of the drugs being used, or side effects derived from the drug carriers employed. In addition, most cellular models currently available do not properly reflect key physiological parameters of the biological environment in the body, hindering translational progress. This article offers a critical overview of these topics, discussing current achievements, limitations and future perspectives on the use of vesicular transport for drug delivery applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from NanoBio&Med 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Biomechanical Modeling of Human Skin Tissue Surrogates
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030018
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
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Abstract
Surrogates, which precisely simulate nonlinear mechanical properties of the human skin at different body sites, would be indispensable for biomechanical testing applications, such as estimating the accurate load response of skin implants and prosthetics to study the biomechanics of static and dynamic loading
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Surrogates, which precisely simulate nonlinear mechanical properties of the human skin at different body sites, would be indispensable for biomechanical testing applications, such as estimating the accurate load response of skin implants and prosthetics to study the biomechanics of static and dynamic loading conditions on the skin, dermatological and sports injuries, and estimating the dynamic load response of lethal and nonlethal ballistics. To date, human skin surrogates have been developed mainly with materials, such as gelatin and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), based on assumption of simplified mechanical properties, such as an average elastic modulus (estimated through indentation tests), and Poisson’s ratio. In addition, pigskin and cowhides, which have widely varying mechanical properties, have been used to simulate human skin. In the current work, a novel elastomer-based material system is developed, which precisely mimics the nonlinear stress–stretch behavior, elastic modulus at high and low strains, and fracture strengths of the natural human skin at different body sites. The manufacturing and fabrication process of these skin surrogates are discussed, and mechanical testing results are presented. Full article
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Open AccessReview Moving toward Soft Robotics: A Decade Review of the Design of Hand Exoskeletons
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030017
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
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Abstract
Soft robotics is a branch of robotics that deals with mechatronics and electromechanical systems primarily made of soft materials. This paper presents a summary of a chronicle study of various soft robotic hand exoskeletons, with different electroencephalography (EEG)- and electromyography (EMG)-based instrumentations and
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Soft robotics is a branch of robotics that deals with mechatronics and electromechanical systems primarily made of soft materials. This paper presents a summary of a chronicle study of various soft robotic hand exoskeletons, with different electroencephalography (EEG)- and electromyography (EMG)-based instrumentations and controls, for rehabilitation and assistance in activities of daily living. A total of 45 soft robotic hand exoskeletons are reviewed. The study follows two methodological frameworks: a systematic review and a chronological review of the exoskeletons. The first approach summarizes the designs of different soft robotic hand exoskeletons based on their mechanical, electrical and functional attributes, including the degree of freedom, number of fingers, force transmission, actuation mode and control strategy. The second approach discusses the technological trend of soft robotic hand exoskeletons in the past decade. The timeline analysis demonstrates the transformation of the exoskeletons from rigid ferrous materials to soft elastomeric materials. It uncovers recent research, development and integration of their mechanical and electrical components. It also approximates the future of the soft robotic hand exoskeletons and some of their crucial design attributes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Robotics)
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Open AccessReview Capability by Stacking: The Current Design Heuristic for Soft Robots
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030016
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 8 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
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Abstract
Soft robots are a new class of systems being developed and studied by robotics scientists. These systems have a diverse range of applications including sub-sea manipulation and rehabilitative robotics. In their current state of development, the prevalent paradigm for the control architecture in
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Soft robots are a new class of systems being developed and studied by robotics scientists. These systems have a diverse range of applications including sub-sea manipulation and rehabilitative robotics. In their current state of development, the prevalent paradigm for the control architecture in these systems is a one-to-one mapping of controller outputs to actuators. In this work, we define functional blocks as the physical implementation of some discrete behaviors, which are presented as a decomposition of the behavior of the soft robot. We also use the term ‘stacking’ as the ability to combine functional blocks to create a system that is more complex and has greater capability than the sum of its parts. By stacking functional blocks a system designer can increase the range of behaviors and the overall capability of the system. As the community continues to increase the capabilities of soft systems—by stacking more and more functional blocks—we will encounter a practical limit with the number of parallelized control lines. In this paper, we review 20 soft systems reported in the literature and we observe this trend of one-to-one mapping of control outputs to functional blocks. We also observe that stacking functional blocks results in systems that are increasingly capable of a diverse range of complex motions and behaviors, leading ultimately to systems that are capable of performing useful tasks. The design heuristic that we observe is one of increased capability by stacking simple units—a classic engineering approach. As we move towards more capability in soft robotic systems, and begin to reach practical limits in control, we predict that we will require increased amounts of autonomy in the system. The field of soft robotics is in its infancy, and as we move towards realizing the potential of this technology, we will need to develop design tools and control paradigms that allow us to handle the complexity in these stacked, non-linear systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Robotics)
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Open AccessReview Hydrogel Actuators and Sensors for Biomedical Soft Robots: Brief Overview with Impending Challenges
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030015
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
There are numerous developments taking place in the field of biorobotics, and one such recent breakthrough is the implementation of soft robots—a pathway to mimic nature’s organic parts for research purposes and in minimally invasive surgeries as a result of their shape-morphing and
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There are numerous developments taking place in the field of biorobotics, and one such recent breakthrough is the implementation of soft robots—a pathway to mimic nature’s organic parts for research purposes and in minimally invasive surgeries as a result of their shape-morphing and adaptable features. Hydrogels (biocompatible, biodegradable materials that are used in designing soft robots and sensor integration), have come into demand because of their beneficial properties, such as high water content, flexibility, and multi-faceted advantages particularly in targeted drug delivery, surgery and biorobotics. We illustrate in this review article the different types of biomedical sensors and actuators for which a hydrogel acts as an active primary material, and we elucidate their limitations and the future scope of this material in the nexus of similar biomedical avenues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Robotics)
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Open AccessCommunication Towards a Design Process for Computer-Aided Biomimetics
Biomimetics 2018, 3(3), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030014
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 17 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
Computer-Aided Biomimetics (CAB) tools aim to support the integration of relevant biological knowledge into biomimetic problem-solving processes. Specific steps of biomimetic processes that require support include the identification, selection and abstraction of relevant biological analogies. Existing CAB tools usually aim to support these
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Computer-Aided Biomimetics (CAB) tools aim to support the integration of relevant biological knowledge into biomimetic problem-solving processes. Specific steps of biomimetic processes that require support include the identification, selection and abstraction of relevant biological analogies. Existing CAB tools usually aim to support these steps by describing biological systems in terms of functions, although engineering functions do not map naturally to biological functions. Consequentially, the resulting static, functional view provides an incomplete understanding of biological processes, which are dynamic, cyclic and self-organizing. This paper proposes an alternative approach that revolves around the concept of trade-offs. The aim is to include the biological context, such as environmental characteristics, that may provide information crucial to the transfer of biological information to an engineering application. The proposed design process is exemplified by an illustrative case study. Full article
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