Biomimetic Design Method for Innovation and Sustainability

A special issue of Biomimetics (ISSN 2313-7673). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomimetic Design, Constructions and Devices".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2022) | Viewed by 22406

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Integrative Biology and Office of Educational Scholarship and Practice, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
Interests: sustainable design; circular economy; biomimetics; biomimicry; higher education; transferable skills

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Guest Editor
Deggendorf Institute of Technology, Deggendorf, Germany
Interests: biomimetics; biomimicry; biolocially-inspired design; innovation; sustainability; higher education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

An unsustainable lifestyle and economy dominate in many areas of society. Excessive consumption and environmentally damaging production are major causes of climate change and species extinction. Achieving long-term goals to protect the environment and life on Earth thus requires extensive transformations in all sectors of society. Knowledge of the human-made causes and imminent catastrophic consequences of climate change is already widely available and openly communicated. Nevertheless, we cannot foresee whether and how the actions of society, from each individual to industry at large, will change to generate an active contribution to sustainability. 

Biomimetics is an innovative way of thinking that can accompany such a shift and push products, processes, and systems towards sustainability. It has led to various successes in recent decades and can have a significant impact on various sectors of society. Numerous other connected approaches, such as biomimicry, biologically inspired design, and circular economies, demonstrate the broad spectrum of opportunities available using a biomimetic design method, which can additionally address several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This Special Issue aim to collect multi-disciplinary contributions from areas such as biology, biomimetics, biomimicry, engineering, and psychology, as well as non-disciplinary areas, including sustainable innovation, circular economies, design methodologies, innovation management, and regenerative societies. This Special Issue will provide insight into the state of the art of a biomimetic design method motivated by innovation and sustainability as well as future opportunities.

Topics of interest include:

  • Process of biomimetics;
  • Biomimetics as a design method;
  • Biomimetic methods to address sustainability;
  • Biomimetic innovation;
  • Biomimetics and the SDGs;
  • Natural systems as models for sustainable design;
  • Assessment of sustainable biomimetic development;
  • Circular economy;
  • Regenerative society and urban design;
  • Sustainable economics and its link to biomimetics;
  • Consumption and production inspired by nature;
  • Psychological aspects of a sustainable lifestyle.

Dr. Shoshanah R. Jacobs
Dr. Kristina Wanieck
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 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 2200 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.

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 3052 KiB  
Article
Investigation on the Energy-Absorbing Properties of Bionic Spider Web Structure
by Baocheng Xie, Xilong Wu and Xuhui Ji
Biomimetics 2023, 8(7), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8070537 - 10 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1334
Abstract
In recent years, spider webs have received significant attention due to their exceptional mechanical properties, including strength, toughness, elasticity, and robustness. Among these spider webs, the orb web is a prevalent type. An orb web’s main framework consists of radial and spiral threads, [...] Read more.
In recent years, spider webs have received significant attention due to their exceptional mechanical properties, including strength, toughness, elasticity, and robustness. Among these spider webs, the orb web is a prevalent type. An orb web’s main framework consists of radial and spiral threads, with elastic and sticky threads used to capture prey. This paper proposes a bionic orb web model to investigate the energy-absorbing properties of a bionic spider web structure. The model considers structural parameters such as radial line length, radial line cross-sectional diameter, number of spiral lines, spiral spacing, and spiral cross-sectional diameter. These parameters are evaluated to assess the energy absorption capability of the bionic spider web structure. Simulation results reveal that the impact of the radial line length and spiral cross-sectional diameter on the energy absorption of the spider web is more significant compared to the radial line cross-sectional diameter, the number of spiral lines, and spiral spacing. Specifically, within a radial line length range of 60–80 mm, the total absorbed energy of a spider web is inversely proportional to the radial line length of the web. Moreover, the number of spiral lines and spiral spacing of the spider web, when within the range of 6–10 turns and 4–5.5 mm, respectively, are proportional to the total energy absorbed. A regression equation is derived to predict the optimal combination of structural parameters for maximum energy absorption. The optimal parameters are determined as follows: radial line length of 63.48 mm, radial line cross-sectional diameter of 0.46 mm, ten spiral lines, spiral spacing of 5.39 mm, and spiral cross-sectional diameter of 0.48 mm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Design Method for Innovation and Sustainability)
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26 pages, 11553 KiB  
Article
Bio-Model Selection, Processing and Results for Bio-Inspired Truck Streamlining
by Xiaoyin Fang and Eize J. Stamhuis
Biomimetics 2023, 8(2), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8020175 - 23 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1447
Abstract
We introduce a method for the selection and processing of a biological model to derive an outline that provides morphometric information for a novel aerodynamic truck design. Because of the dynamic similarities, our new truck design will be inspired by biological shapes with [...] Read more.
We introduce a method for the selection and processing of a biological model to derive an outline that provides morphometric information for a novel aerodynamic truck design. Because of the dynamic similarities, our new truck design will be inspired by biological shapes with a known high level of streamlining and low drag for operation near the seabed, i.e., the head of a trout, but other model organisms will also be used later. Demersal fish are chosen because they live near the bottom of rivers or the sea. Complementary to many biomimetic studies so far, we plan to concentrate on reshaping the outline of the fish’s head and extend it to a 3D design for the tractor that, at the same time, fits within EU regulations and maintains the truck’s normal use and stability. We intend to explore this biological model selection and formulization involving the following elements: (i) the reason for selecting fish as a biological model for a streamlined truck design; (ii) The choice of a fish model via a functional similarity method; (iii) biological shape formulization based on the morphometric information of models in (ii) outline pick-up, a reshaping step and a subsequent design process; (iv) modify the biomimetic designs and test utilizing CFD; (v) further discussion, outputs and results from the bio-inspired design process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Design Method for Innovation and Sustainability)
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21 pages, 1948 KiB  
Article
Conceptualization of Biomimicry in Engineering Context among Undergraduate and High School Students: An International Interdisciplinary Exploration
by Ibrahim H. Yeter, Valerie Si Qi Tan and Hortense Le Ferrand
Biomimetics 2023, 8(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8010125 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3960
Abstract
Biomimicry is an interdisciplinary design approach that provides solutions to engineering problems by taking inspiration from nature. Given the established importance of biomimicry for building a sustainable world, there is a need to develop effective curricula on this topic. In this study, a [...] Read more.
Biomimicry is an interdisciplinary design approach that provides solutions to engineering problems by taking inspiration from nature. Given the established importance of biomimicry for building a sustainable world, there is a need to develop effective curricula on this topic. In this study, a workshop was conducted twice in Singapore: once with 14 students from a local high school in Singapore, and once with 11 undergraduate students in engineering from the United States. The workshop aimed to better understand how students conceptualize biomimicry following the bottom-up and top-down biomimetic methods. The workshop contained a lecture and laboratory session, and data were collected via questionnaires, field observation, and participant presentations at the end of the laboratory session. A qualitative analysis revealed that the top-down biomimetic approach was initially understood using vague and generic terms. In contrast, the students described the bottom-up approach using precise and technical vocabulary. By naming the themes highlighting the students’ conceptualizations, it was concluded that strengthening the principle that makes the natural object unique and increasing interdisciplinary knowledge are needed to help them perform the top-down approach. The results from this work should be confirmed with a more significant number of participants, and they could help develop a curriculum to teach the two approaches effectively by providing tools to help the students generalize their ideas and abstract meaning from systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Design Method for Innovation and Sustainability)
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15 pages, 6327 KiB  
Article
Biomimetic Design of Turbine Blades for Ocean Current Power Generation
by Enrique Eduardo Hernández Montoya, Edgar Mendoza and Eize J. Stamhuis
Biomimetics 2023, 8(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8010118 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2642
Abstract
The enhancement of energy technology and innovation play a crucial role in order to meet the challenges related to global warming in the coming decades. Inspired by bird wings, the performance of a bio-inspired blade assembled to a marine turbine model, is examined. [...] Read more.
The enhancement of energy technology and innovation play a crucial role in order to meet the challenges related to global warming in the coming decades. Inspired by bird wings, the performance of a bio-inspired blade assembled to a marine turbine model, is examined. Following a biomimetic pathway, the aerodynamic performance of the bird wings of the species Common Guillemot (Uria aalge) was tested in a wind tunnel laboratory. Based on our results, we derived a bio-inspired blade model by following a laser scanning method. Lastly, the bio-inspired blades were assembled to a marine turbine model and tested in a large flow tank facility. We found efficiencies (Cp) up to 0.3 which is around 53% of the maximum power that can be expected from the turbine model according to the Betz approach. Our findings are analyzed in the discussion section as well as considerations for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Design Method for Innovation and Sustainability)
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19 pages, 13055 KiB  
Article
Owl-Neck-Spine-Inspired, Additively Manufactured, Joint Assemblies with Shape Memory Alloy Wire Actuators
by Robin Löffler, Stephan Tremmel and Rüdiger Hornfeck
Biomimetics 2023, 8(1), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8010117 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2568
Abstract
Nature provides a considerable number of good examples for simple and very efficient joint assemblies. One example is the enormously flexible cervical spine of American barn owls, which consists of 14 cervical vertebrae. Each pair of vertebrae produces a comparatively small individual movement [...] Read more.
Nature provides a considerable number of good examples for simple and very efficient joint assemblies. One example is the enormously flexible cervical spine of American barn owls, which consists of 14 cervical vertebrae. Each pair of vertebrae produces a comparatively small individual movement in order to provide a large overall movement of the entire cervical spine. The biomimetic replication of such joints is difficult due to the delicate and geometric unrestricted joint shapes as well as the muscles that have to be mimicked. Using X-ray as well as micro-computed tomography images and with the utilisation of additive manufacturing, it was possible to produce the owl neck vertebrae in scaled-up form, to analyse them and then to transfer them into technically usable joint assemblies. The muscle substitution of these joints was realised by smart materials actuators in the form of shape memory alloy wire actuators. This actuator technology is outstanding for its muscle-like movement and for its high-energy density. The disadvantage of this wire actuator technology is the low rate of contraction, which means that a large length of wire has to be installed to generate adequate movement. For this reason, the actuator wires were integrated into additively manufactured carrier components to mimic biological joints. This resulted in joint designs that compensate for the disadvantages of the small contraction of the actuators by intelligently installing large wire lengths on comparatively small installation spaces, while also providing a sufficient force output. With the help of a test rig, the developed technical joint variants are examined and evaluated. This demonstrated the technical applicability of this biomimetic joints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Design Method for Innovation and Sustainability)
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18 pages, 2503 KiB  
Article
Broadening the Taxonomic Breadth of Organisms in the Bio-Inspired Design Process
by Amanda K. Hund, Elizabeth Stretch, Dimitri Smirnoff, Gillian H. Roehrig and Emilie C. Snell-Rood
Biomimetics 2023, 8(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8010048 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2016
Abstract
(1) Generating a range of biological analogies is a key part of the bio-inspired design process. In this research, we drew on the creativity literature to test methods for increasing the diversity of these ideas. We considered the role of the problem type, [...] Read more.
(1) Generating a range of biological analogies is a key part of the bio-inspired design process. In this research, we drew on the creativity literature to test methods for increasing the diversity of these ideas. We considered the role of the problem type, the role of individual expertise (versus learning from others), and the effect of two interventions designed to increase creativity—going outside and exploring different evolutionary and ecological “idea spaces” using online tools. (2) We tested these ideas with problem-based brainstorming assignments from a 180-person online course in animal behavior. (3) Student brainstorming was generally drawn to mammals, and the breadth of ideas was affected more by the assigned problem than by practice over time. Individual biological expertise had a small but significant effect on the taxonomic breadth of ideas, but interactions with team members did not. When students were directed to consider other ecosystems and branches of the tree of life, they increased the taxonomic diversity of biological models. In contrast, going outside resulted in a significant decrease in the diversity of ideas. (4) We offer a range of recommendations to increase the breadth of biological models generated in the bio-inspired design process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Design Method for Innovation and Sustainability)
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16 pages, 2803 KiB  
Article
Biocompatible Optical Fibers Made of Regenerated Cellulose and Recombinant Cellulose-Binding Spider Silk
by Martin Reimer, Kai Mayer, Daniel Van Opdenbosch, Thomas Scheibel and Cordt Zollfrank
Biomimetics 2023, 8(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8010037 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2481
Abstract
The fabrication of green optical waveguides based on cellulose and spider silk might allow the processing of novel biocompatible materials. Regenerated cellulose fibers are used as the core and recombinantly produced spider silk proteins eADF4(C16) as the cladding material. A detected delamination between [...] Read more.
The fabrication of green optical waveguides based on cellulose and spider silk might allow the processing of novel biocompatible materials. Regenerated cellulose fibers are used as the core and recombinantly produced spider silk proteins eADF4(C16) as the cladding material. A detected delamination between core and cladding could be circumvented by using a modified spider silk protein with a cellulose-binding domain-enduring permanent adhesion between the cellulose core and the spider silk cladding. The applied spider silk materials were characterized optically, and the theoretical maximum data rate was determined. The results show optical waveguide structures promising for medical applications, for example, in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Design Method for Innovation and Sustainability)
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14 pages, 813 KiB  
Article
Biomimetic Research for Applications Addressing Technical Environmental Protection
by Kirsten Wommer and Kristina Wanieck
Biomimetics 2022, 7(4), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics7040182 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2492
Abstract
Biomimetic research has increased over the last decades, and the development process has been systemized regarding its methods and tools. The aim of biomimetics is to solve practical problems of real-life scenarios. In this context, biomimetics can also address sustainability. To better understand [...] Read more.
Biomimetic research has increased over the last decades, and the development process has been systemized regarding its methods and tools. The aim of biomimetics is to solve practical problems of real-life scenarios. In this context, biomimetics can also address sustainability. To better understand how biomimetics research and development can achieve more sustainable solutions, five projects of applied research have been monitored and analyzed regarding biological models, abstracted biological principles, and the recognition of the applied efficiency strategies. In this manuscript, the way in which sustainability can be addressed is described, possibly serving as inspiration for other projects and topics. The results indicate that sustainability needs to be considered from the very beginning in biomimetic projects, and it can remain a focus during various phases of the development process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Design Method for Innovation and Sustainability)
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Review

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25 pages, 3120 KiB  
Review
Development of Bioactive Scaffolds for Orthopedic Applications by Designing Additively Manufactured Titanium Porous Structures: A Critical Review
by Mikhail V. Kiselevskiy, Natalia Yu. Anisimova, Alexei V. Kapustin, Alexander A. Ryzhkin, Daria N. Kuznetsova, Veronika V. Polyakova and Nariman A. Enikeev
Biomimetics 2023, 8(7), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics8070546 - 13 Nov 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1948
Abstract
We overview recent findings achieved in the field of model-driven development of additively manufactured porous materials for the development of a new generation of bioactive implants for orthopedic applications. Porous structures produced from biocompatible titanium alloys using selective laser melting can present a [...] Read more.
We overview recent findings achieved in the field of model-driven development of additively manufactured porous materials for the development of a new generation of bioactive implants for orthopedic applications. Porous structures produced from biocompatible titanium alloys using selective laser melting can present a promising material to design scaffolds with regulated mechanical properties and with the capacity to be loaded with pharmaceutical products. Adjusting pore geometry, one could control elastic modulus and strength/fatigue properties of the engineered structures to be compatible with bone tissues, thus preventing the stress shield effect when replacing a diseased bone fragment. Adsorption of medicals by internal spaces would make it possible to emit the antibiotic and anti-tumor agents into surrounding tissues. The developed internal porosity and surface roughness can provide the desired vascularization and osteointegration. We critically analyze the recent advances in the field featuring model design approaches, virtual testing of the designed structures, capabilities of additive printing of porous structures, biomedical issues of the engineered scaffolds, and so on. Special attention is paid to highlighting the actual problems in the field and the ways of their solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Design Method for Innovation and Sustainability)
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