Special Issue "Bioinspired Microfluidics"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. J.M.J. (Jaap) Den Toonder
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Interests: micro-electro-mechanical systems; microfluidics; organ-on-chip; biomimetics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microfluidics is the science and technology of manipulating and analyzing fluids at small scales, typically smaller than 1 mm. Microfluidics enables a number of important applications, such as point-of-care diagnostics, environmental sensing, biosensors, advanced cell culture systems, high-throughput drug testing, inkjet printing, and immersion lithography. In most microfluidic applications, large peripheral equipment like syringe pumps must be connected to the microfluidic devices to generate flow, or complex electrode structures must be integrated into the devices using complex manufacturing methods to achieve electrokinetic pumping.

In recent years, researchers are increasingly studying Nature to find inspiration for more effective, more versatile, and more easily integrated microfluidic manipulation principles. Indeed, a variety of biological mechanisms for fluid manipulation at the submillimeter scale have evolved. Just a few examples include: cilia and flagella are microscopic, hair-like motile structures that oscillate to propel microorganisms, or to transport cells, food, or mucus; many special biological surfaces have tuned surface energy for droplet contact angle control—the best-known is the Lotus leaf with its surface microstructure that makes it superhydrophobic and self-cleaning; plants and trees rely completely on manipulation of water to live and grow—using specialized root structures to absorb water, capillaries for water transport up the stem, and stomata on the leaf’s surfaces for evaporative pumping. All of these, and more, biological principles can be an inspiration for the development of novel microfluidic concepts.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect articles that reflect the recent advances in bioinspired microfluidics. The topics range from basic studies of nature’s microfluidic principles, to manufacturing approaches for realizing micropumps, -mixers, or –valves inspired by nature, to bioinspired surface design for droplet or fluid manipulation, to nature-inspired material systems for microfluidics applications, to microfluidic applications based on principles borrowed from biology.

We believe that this initiative will fill an important gap in biomimetic microfluidics and will stimulate the enthusiastic and inspiring contributions of leading experts in the field.

Prof. Dr. Ir. J.M.J. (Jaap) den Toonder
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biomimetics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 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.


  • micropumps
  • micromixers
  • microvalves
  • responsive materials
  • droplet control
  • stokes flow
  • cilia
  • surface energy control
  • capillary flow
  • actuators
  • biosensors
  • microswimmers
  • biomaterials

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Fog-Harvesting Properties of Dryopteris marginata: Role of Interscalar Microchannels in Water-Channeling
Biomimetics 2018, 3(2), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3020007 - 12 Apr 2018
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3673
Several flora and fauna species found in arid areas have adapted themselves to collect water by developing unique structures and to intake the collected moisture. Apart from the capture of the moisture and fog on the surface, water transport and collection both play [...] Read more.
Several flora and fauna species found in arid areas have adapted themselves to collect water by developing unique structures and to intake the collected moisture. Apart from the capture of the moisture and fog on the surface, water transport and collection both play an important part in fog-harvesting systems as it prevents the loss of captured water through evaporation and makes the surface available for the capture of water again. Here, we report the remarkable fog collection and water-channeling properties of Dryopteris marginata. The surface of D. marginata has developed an integrated system of multiscale channels so that the water spreads quickly and is transported via these channels very efficiently. These integrated multiscale channels have also been replicated using a facile soft lithography technique to prepare biomimetic surfaces and it has been proved that it is the surface architecture that plays a role in the water transport rather than the material’s properties (waxes present on the surface of the leaves). Based on our studies, we infer that the microlevel hierarchy of the structures make the surface hydrophilic and the multiscale channels allow the efficient passage and transport of water. The understanding of the efficient and well-directed water transport and collection in D. marginata is expected to provide valuable insights to design efficient surfaces for fog-harvesting applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Microfluidics)
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