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Biomimetics, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2019)

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Open AccessArticle Effects of Capsaicin on Biomimetic Membranes
Biomimetics 2019, 4(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4010017
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
Capsaicin is a natural compound that produces a warm sensation and is known for its remarkable medicinal properties. Understanding the interaction between capsaicin with lipid membranes is essential to clarify the molecular mechanisms behind its pharmacological and biological effects. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Capsaicin is a natural compound that produces a warm sensation and is known for its remarkable medicinal properties. Understanding the interaction between capsaicin with lipid membranes is essential to clarify the molecular mechanisms behind its pharmacological and biological effects. In this study, we investigated the effect of capsaicin on thermoresponsiveness, fluidity, and phase separation of liposomal membranes. Liposomal membranes are a bioinspired technology that can be exploited to understand biological mechanisms. We have shown that by increasing thermo-induced membrane excess area, capsaicin promoted membrane fluctuation. The effect of capsaicin on membrane fluidity was dependent on lipid composition. Capsaicin increased fluidity of (1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) membranes, while it rigidified DOPC and cholesterol-based liposomes. In addition, capsaicin tended to decrease phase separation of heterogeneous liposomes, inducing homogeneity. We imagine this lipid re-organization to be associated with the physiological warming sensation upon consumption of capsaicin. Since capsaicin has been reported to have biological properties such as antimicrobial and as antiplatelet, the results will help unravel these biological properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Bioinspired Materials 2018)
Open AccessReview Bioinspiration in Fashion—A Review
Biomimetics 2019, 4(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4010016
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
This paper provides an overview of the main technologies currently being investigated in the textile industry as alternatives to contemporary fashion fabrics. The present status of the textile industry and its impact on the environment is discussed, and the key drivers for change [...] Read more.
This paper provides an overview of the main technologies currently being investigated in the textile industry as alternatives to contemporary fashion fabrics. The present status of the textile industry and its impact on the environment is discussed, and the key drivers for change are highlighted. Historical use of bioinspiration in synthetic textiles is evaluated, with the impact of these developments on the fashion and apparel industries described. The review then discusses the move to nature as a supplier of new fabric sources with several alternatives explored, drawing special attention to the sustainability and performance aspects of these new sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Bioinspired Materials 2018)
Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Characterization of Acetic Acid-Doped Polyaniline and Polyaniline–Chitosan Composite
Biomimetics 2019, 4(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4010015
Received: 11 November 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
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Abstract
Polyaniline–chitosan (PAni–Cs) composite films were synthesized using a solution casting method with varying PAni concentrations. Polyaniline powders used in the composite synthesis were polymerized using acetic acid as the dopant media. Raman spectroscopy revealed that the PAni powders synthesized using hydrochloric acid and [...] Read more.
Polyaniline–chitosan (PAni–Cs) composite films were synthesized using a solution casting method with varying PAni concentrations. Polyaniline powders used in the composite synthesis were polymerized using acetic acid as the dopant media. Raman spectroscopy revealed that the PAni powders synthesized using hydrochloric acid and acetic acid did not exhibit significant difference to the chemical features of PAni, implying that PAni was formed in varying concentrations of the dopant media. The presence of agglomerated particles on the surface of the Cs composite, which may have been due to the presence of PAni powders, was observed with scanning electron microscope–energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM–EDX). Ultraviolet–visible (UV–Vis) spectroscopy further showed the interaction of PAni with Cs where the Cs characteristic peak shifted to a higher wavelength. Cell viability assay also revealed that the synthesized PAni–Cs composites were nontoxic and may be utilized for future biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin- and Chitosan-Based Composite Materials)
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Open AccessErratum Erratum: 1st Symposium on Polydopamine and NanoTech Poland 2018: Conference Report. Biomimetics 2018, 3, 37
Biomimetics 2019, 4(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4010014
Received: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 7 February 2019
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Abstract
The authors regret that few mistakes were made in the original publication by Mrówczyński et al.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Design and Actuation of a Fabric-Based Worm-Like Robot
Biomimetics 2019, 4(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4010013
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
Soft-bodied animals, such as earthworms, are capable of contorting their body to squeeze through narrow spaces, create or enlarge burrows, and move on uneven ground. In many applications such as search and rescue, inspection of pipes and medical procedures, it may be useful [...] Read more.
Soft-bodied animals, such as earthworms, are capable of contorting their body to squeeze through narrow spaces, create or enlarge burrows, and move on uneven ground. In many applications such as search and rescue, inspection of pipes and medical procedures, it may be useful to have a hollow-bodied robot with skin separating inside and outside. Textiles can be key to such skins. Inspired by earthworms, we developed two new robots: FabricWorm and MiniFabricWorm. We explored the application of fabric in soft robotics and how textile can be integrated along with other structural elements, such as three-dimensional (3D) printed parts, linear springs, and flexible nylon tubes. The structure of FabricWorm consists of one third the number of rigid pieces as compared to its predecessor Compliant Modular Mesh Worm-Steering (CMMWorm-S), while the structure of MiniFabricWorm consists of no rigid components. This article presents the design of such a mesh and its limitations in terms of structural softness. We experimentally measured the stiffness properties of these robots and compared them directly to its predecessors. FabricWorm and MiniFabricWorm are capable of peristaltic locomotion with a maximum speed of 33 cm/min (0.49 body-lengths/min) and 13.8 cm/min (0.25 body-lengths/min), respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Living Machines 2018)
Open AccessArticle A High Coordination of Cross-Links Is Beneficial for the Strength of Cross-Linked Fibers
Biomimetics 2019, 4(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4010012
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 4 February 2019
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Abstract
The influence of the coordination of (reversible) cross-links on the mechanical properties of aligned fiber bundles is investigated. Two polymeric systems containing cross-links of different coordination (two- and three-fold coordination) but having the same binding energy are investigated. In particular, the response to [...] Read more.
The influence of the coordination of (reversible) cross-links on the mechanical properties of aligned fiber bundles is investigated. Two polymeric systems containing cross-links of different coordination (two- and three-fold coordination) but having the same binding energy are investigated. In particular, the response to loading of these systems is compared. Mechanical parameters (strength, stiffness and work-to-fracture) are obtained by computational loading tests. The influence of coordination is studied for simple test systems with pre-defined topologies that maximize strength as well as for more realistic fiber bundles containing nine chains. The results show that a higher coordination of cross-links has a beneficial effect on the strength and the stiffness of the systems, while the work-to-fracture was found larger for the system having a smaller coordination of cross-links. It can be concluded that controlling the coordination of cross-links is a versatile tool to specifically tailor the mechanical properties of polymeric structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogenic and Bioinspired Self-Healing Materials)
Open AccessArticle Bioinspired ZnS:Gd Nanoparticles Synthesized from an Endophytic Fungi Aspergillus flavus for Fluorescence-Based Metal Detection
Biomimetics 2019, 4(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4010011
Received: 7 October 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 27 November 2018 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
Recently, several nonconventional sources have emerged as strong hotspots for the biosynthesis of chalcogenide quantum dots. However, studies that have ascertained the biomimetic methodologies that initiate biosynthesis are rather limited. The present investigation portrays a few perspectives of rare-earth(Gd)-doped ZnS biosynthesis using the [...] Read more.
Recently, several nonconventional sources have emerged as strong hotspots for the biosynthesis of chalcogenide quantum dots. However, studies that have ascertained the biomimetic methodologies that initiate biosynthesis are rather limited. The present investigation portrays a few perspectives of rare-earth(Gd)-doped ZnS biosynthesis using the endophytic fungi Aspergillus flavus for sensing metals based on their fluorescence. Analysis of ZnS:Gd nanoparticles was performed by elemental analysis, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), photoluminescence (PL), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results of TEM demonstrated that the particles were polycrystalline in nature, with a mean size of 10–18 nm. The fluorescence amenability of the biogenic ZnS nanoparticles was further used for the development of a simple and efficient sensing array. The results showed sensitive and detectable quenching/enhancement in the fluorescence of biogenic colloidal ZnS nanoparticles, in the presence of Pb (II), Cd (II), Hg (II), Cu (II) and Ni (II), respectively. The fluorescence intensity of the biogenic ZnS:Gd nanoparticles was found to increase compared to that of the ZnS nanoparticles that capacitate these systems as a reliable fluorescence sensing platform with selective environmental applications. Full article
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Open AccessConference Report 2018 IEEE International Work Conference on Bioinspired Intelligence (IWOBI): Conference Report
Received: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
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Abstract
The International Work Conference on Bioinspired Intelligence (IWOBI) is an annual event that comprises both an international peer-reviewed scientific conference and a set of workshops and other activities in order to foster the research abilities and expertise of young researchers in the field [...] Read more.
The International Work Conference on Bioinspired Intelligence (IWOBI) is an annual event that comprises both an international peer-reviewed scientific conference and a set of workshops and other activities in order to foster the research abilities and expertise of young researchers in the field of bioinspired intelligence. IWOBI 2018 has been characterized by a strong transdisciplinary component. The main conference themes were at the intersection between classical engineering disciplines and computer science, and the life and health sciences. This was motivated by the scientific environment that defines research that is being conducted in Costa Rica. Even though IWOBI is an international event, it was very important for the local organizing committee to focus on knowledge areas that were considered of special interest to Costa Rican researchers and to students looking to start their scientific careers. With such great expectations, IWOBI 2018 has been the first IWOBI conference in history to have parallel tracks. In addition to a regular track, a biocomputation and related techniques track was developed, as well as another one devoted to high-performance computing (HPC) systems applications for life and health sciences applications. Workshops were another important resource developed within IWOBI 2018. They were considered a very important tool in order to foster and train young researchers within the country and they are a very valuable chance to establish direct networking with elite researchers from different countries and research interests. IWOBI 2018 was the first IWOBI conference that implemented real and effective workshops. There were two workshops, one of them devoted to COPASI software and the other one focused on the use of the message passing interface (MPI) parallel programming library. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Intelligence)
Open AccessArticle Analyzing Moment Arm Profiles in a Full-Muscle Rat Hindlimb Model
Biomimetics 2019, 4(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4010010
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
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Abstract
Understanding the kinematics of a hindlimb model is a fundamental aspect of modeling coordinated locomotion. This work describes the development process of a rat hindlimb model that contains a complete muscular system and incorporates physiological walking data to examine realistic muscle movements during [...] Read more.
Understanding the kinematics of a hindlimb model is a fundamental aspect of modeling coordinated locomotion. This work describes the development process of a rat hindlimb model that contains a complete muscular system and incorporates physiological walking data to examine realistic muscle movements during a step cycle. Moment arm profiles for selected muscles are analyzed and presented as the first steps to calculating torque generation at hindlimb joints. A technique for calculating muscle moment arms from muscle attachment points in a three-dimensional (3D) space has been established. This model accounts for the configuration of adjacent joints, a critical aspect of biarticular moment arm analysis that must be considered when calculating joint torque. Moment arm profiles from isolated muscle motions are compared to two existing models. The dependence of biarticular muscle’s moment arms on the configuration of the adjacent joint is a critical aspect of moment arm analysis that must be considered when calculating joint torque. The variability in moment arm profiles suggests changes in muscle function during a step. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Living Machines 2018)
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Open AccessArticle Real-Time Monitoring of Interactions between Solid-Supported Lipid Vesicle Layers and Short- and Medium-Chain Length Alcohols: Ethanol and 1-Pentanol
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
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Abstract
Lipid bilayers represent the interface between the cell and its environment, serving as model systems for the study of various biological processes. For instance, the addition of small molecules such as alcohols is a well-known process that modulates lipid bilayer properties, being considered [...] Read more.
Lipid bilayers represent the interface between the cell and its environment, serving as model systems for the study of various biological processes. For instance, the addition of small molecules such as alcohols is a well-known process that modulates lipid bilayer properties, being considered as a reference for general anesthetic molecules. A plethora of experimental and simulation studies have focused on alcohol’s effect on lipid bilayers. Nevertheless, most studies have focused on lipid membranes formed in the presence of alcohols, while the effect of n-alcohols on preformed lipid membranes has received much less research interest. Here, we monitor the real-time interaction of short-chain alcohols with solid-supported vesicles of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) as a label-free method. Results indicate that the addition of ethanol at different concentrations induces changes in the bilayer organization but preserves the stability of the supported vesicle layer. In turn, the addition of 1-pentanol induces not only changes in the bilayer organization, but also promotes vesicle rupture and inhomogeneous lipid layers at very high concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Bioinspired Materials 2018)
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Open AccessReview Optimizing Epicardial Restraint and Reinforcement Following Myocardial Infarction: Moving Towards Localized, Biomimetic, and Multitherapeutic Options
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
The mechanical reinforcement of the ventricular wall after a myocardial infarction has been shown to modulate and attenuate negative remodeling that can lead to heart failure. Strategies include wraps, meshes, cardiac patches, or fluid-filled bladders. Here, we review the literature describing these strategies [...] Read more.
The mechanical reinforcement of the ventricular wall after a myocardial infarction has been shown to modulate and attenuate negative remodeling that can lead to heart failure. Strategies include wraps, meshes, cardiac patches, or fluid-filled bladders. Here, we review the literature describing these strategies in the two broad categories of global restraint and local reinforcement. We further subdivide the global restraint category into biventricular and univentricular support. We discuss efforts to optimize devices in each of these categories, particularly in the last five years. These include adding functionality, biomimicry, and adjustability. We also discuss computational models of these strategies, and how they can be used to predict the reduction of stresses in the heart muscle wall. We discuss the range of timing of intervention that has been reported. Finally, we give a perspective on how novel fabrication technologies, imaging techniques, and computational models could potentially enhance these therapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Robotics)
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Biomimetics in 2018
Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Chloride Anions on Charge Transfer in Dye-Sensitized Photoanodes for Water Splitting
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
The photoelectrochemical behavior of dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells based on a TiO2 layer sensitized with ruthenium components, including an absorber, ruthenium(II)bis(2,2′-bipyridine)([2,2′-bipyridine]-4,4′-diylbis(phosphonic acid)) dibromide (RuP), and a catalyst, ruthenium(II) tris(4-methylpyridine)(4-(4-(2,6-bis((l1-oxidanyl)carbonyl)pyridin-4-yl)phenyl) pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid) (RuOEC), was investigated in the following water-based electrolyte configurations: KCl (pH ≈ [...] Read more.
The photoelectrochemical behavior of dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells based on a TiO2 layer sensitized with ruthenium components, including an absorber, ruthenium(II)bis(2,2′-bipyridine)([2,2′-bipyridine]-4,4′-diylbis(phosphonic acid)) dibromide (RuP), and a catalyst, ruthenium(II) tris(4-methylpyridine)(4-(4-(2,6-bis((l1-oxidanyl)carbonyl)pyridin-4-yl)phenyl) pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid) (RuOEC), was investigated in the following water-based electrolyte configurations: KCl (pH ≈ 5), HCl (pH ≈ 3), ethylphoshonic acid (pH ≈ 3) with a different KCl concentration, and a standard phosphate buffer (pH ≈ 7). The rate of charge transfer on the photoanode’s surface was found to increase in line with the increase in the concentration of chloride anions (Cl) in the low pH electrolyte. This effect is discussed in the context of pH influence, ionic strength, and specific interaction, studied by cyclic voltammetry (CV) in dark conditions and upon illumination of the photoanodes. The correlations between photocurrent decay traces and CV studies were also observed. Full article
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Open AccessConference Report Bioinspired Materials 2018: Conference Report
Received: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract
The Bioinspired Materials conference 2018 was organized for the third time by a team of researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University. This international conference aims to bring together the scientific committee in the fields of biomimetic sensors, bioinspired materials, materials chemistry, three-dimensional (3D) printing, [...] Read more.
The Bioinspired Materials conference 2018 was organized for the third time by a team of researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University. This international conference aims to bring together the scientific committee in the fields of biomimetic sensors, bioinspired materials, materials chemistry, three-dimensional (3D) printing, and tissue engineering. The 2018 edition was held at the John Dalton Building of Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK, and took place on the 10th of October 2018. There were over 60 national and international attendees, with the international attendees participating in a lab tour through the synthetic facilities and Fuel Cell Innovation Centre on the 9th of October. The three conference sessions encompassed a wide range of topics, varying from biomimetic sensors, hydrogels, and biofabrics and bioengineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Bioinspired Materials 2018)
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Open AccessArticle [email protected]@ICG Conjugates for Photothermal Therapy of Glioblastoma Multiforme
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
The growing incidence of cancer is a problem for modern medicine, since the therapeutic efficacy of applied modalities is still not satisfactory in terms of patients’ survival rates, especially in the case of patients with brain tumors. The destructive influence of chemotherapy and [...] Read more.
The growing incidence of cancer is a problem for modern medicine, since the therapeutic efficacy of applied modalities is still not satisfactory in terms of patients’ survival rates, especially in the case of patients with brain tumors. The destructive influence of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on healthy cells reduces the chances of full recovery. With the development of nanotechnology, new ideas on cancer therapy, including brain tumors, have emerged. Photothermal therapy (PTT) is one of these. It utilizes nanoparticles (NPs) that can convert the light, preferably in the near-infrared (NIR) region, into heat. In this paper, we report the use of nanodiamonds (NDs) conjugated with biomimetic polydopamine (PDA) and indocyanine green (ICG) for glioblastoma cancer PTT therapy. The obtained materials were thoroughly analyzed in terms of their PTT effectiveness, as well as their physicochemical properties. The performed research demonstrated that [email protected]@ICG can be successfully applied in the photothermal therapy of glioblastoma for PTT and exhibited high photothermal conversion efficiency η above 40%, which is almost 10 times higher than in case of bare NDs. In regard to our results, our material was found to lead to a better therapeutic outcome and higher eradication of glioblastoma cells, as demonstrated in vitro. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Friction Properties of Firebrat Scales
Received: 9 September 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
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Abstract
Friction is an important subject for sustainability due to problems that are associated with energy loss. In recent years, micro- and nanostructured surfaces have attracted much attention to reduce friction; however, suitable structures are still under consideration. Many functional surfaces are present in [...] Read more.
Friction is an important subject for sustainability due to problems that are associated with energy loss. In recent years, micro- and nanostructured surfaces have attracted much attention to reduce friction; however, suitable structures are still under consideration. Many functional surfaces are present in nature, such as the friction reduction surfaces of snake skins. In this study, we focused on firebrats, Thermobia domestica, which temporary live in narrow spaces, such as piled papers, so their body surface (integument) is frequently in contact with surrounding substrates. We speculate that, in addition to optical, cleaning effects, protection against desiccation and enemies, their body surface may be also adapted to reduce friction. To investigate the functional effects of the firebrat scales, firebrat surfaces were observed using a field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) and a colloidal probe atomic force microscope (AFM). Results of surface observations by FE-SEM revealed that adult firebrats are entirely covered with scales, whose surfaces have microgroove structures. Scale groove wavelengths around the firebrat’s head are almost uniform within a scale but they vary between scales. At the level of single scales, AFM friction force measurements revealed that the firebrat scale reduces friction by decreasing the contact area between scales and a colloidal probe. The heterogeneity of the scales’ groove wavelengths suggests that it is difficult to fix the whole body on critical rough surfaces and may result in a “fail-safe” mechanism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mechanical Modeling of Healthy and Diseased Calcaneal Fat Pad Surrogates
Received: 21 September 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 December 2018 / Published: 3 January 2019
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Abstract
The calcaneal fat pad is a major load bearing component of the human foot due to daily gait activities such as standing, walking, and running. Heel and arch pain pathologies such as plantar fasciitis, which over one third of the world population suffers [...] Read more.
The calcaneal fat pad is a major load bearing component of the human foot due to daily gait activities such as standing, walking, and running. Heel and arch pain pathologies such as plantar fasciitis, which over one third of the world population suffers from, is a consequent effect of calcaneal fat pad damage. Also, fat pad stiffening and ulceration has been observed due to diabetes mellitus. To date, the biomechanics of fat pad damage is poorly understood due to the unavailability of live human models (because of ethical and biosafety issues) or biofidelic surrogates for testing. This also precludes the study of the effectiveness of preventive custom orthotics for foot pain pathologies caused due to fat pad damage. The current work addresses this key gap in literature with the development of novel biofidelic surrogates, which simulate the in vivo and in vitro compressive mechanical properties of a healthy calcaneal fat pad. Also, surrogates were developed to simulate the in vivo mechanical behavior of the fat pad due to plantar fasciitis and diabetes. A four-part elastomeric material system was used to fabricate the surrogates, and their mechanical properties were characterized using dynamic and cyclic load testing. Different strain (or displacement) rates were tested to understand surrogate behavior due to high impact loads. These surrogates can be integrated with a prosthetic foot model and mechanically tested to characterize the shock absorption in different simulated gait activities, and due to varying fat pad material property in foot pain pathologies (i.e., plantar fasciitis, diabetes, and injury). Additionally, such a foot surrogate model, fitted with a custom orthotic and footwear, can be used for the experimental testing of shock absorption characteristics of preventive orthoses. Full article
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