Special Issue "Selected Papers from N.I.C.E. 2018"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Frédéric Guittard
Website
Guest Editor
NICE Lab, Institut Méditerranéen du Risque, de l'Environnement et du Développement Durable (IMREDD), Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France
Interests: surface functionalization; nanostructured materials; adhesive/anti-adhesive coatings; fluorinated materials; biobased chemicals and materials; green chemistry; special wettabilities; self healing materials; stimuli-responsive materials; renewable energy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Hernando S. Salapare III
Website
Guest Editor
1. University of the Philippines Open University, Philippines
2. Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France
Interests: plasma processed materials; plasma physics and chemistry; nanostructured materials; functional polymers; special wettabilities; adhesion; electronic materials and processing; surfaces and interfaces; electrical and thermal-based sensors
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Josep Samitier
Website
Guest Editor
1. Nanobioengineering group, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), Baldiri Reixac 10-12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
2. Department of Engineering: Electronics, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
3. Networking Biomedical Research Center (CIBER), Spain
Interests: Surface functionalization; Engineering cell–material interface; Biosensors and lab on a chips; Microfluidics; 3D Bioprinting and 3D Cell culture; Organ-on-a-chip engineering
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nature has developed processes and robust materials, which possess superior physical, chemical, and electromagnetic properties that can withstand the most extreme conditions. We need to take inspiration from nature to obtain a more sustainable development. By combining our knowledge of processes and the knowledge of natural systems, we can create “biomimetic” solutions to the problems that we are facing as a consequence of the over-exploitation of our natural resources.

Nice, France, the capital city of the French Riviera, once again welcomes the 4th edition of the International Conference on Bioinspired and Biobased Chemistry and Materials (“Nature Inspires Creativity Engineers” or N.I.C.E. 2018 Conference) from 14 to 17 of October, 2018. As in the previous editions, we are expecting hundreds of scientists and engineers to share the latest developments in the growing field of bioinspired and biobased chemistry and materials. It is a unique opportunity to understand the new challenges, to initiate new collaborations and to envisage sustainable solutions for the future.

This Special Issue is cooperating with the N.I.C.E. 2018 conference (http://www.unice.fr/nice-conference/). All speakers and registered participants at this conference are invited to submit a manuscript for publication.

Prof. Frédéric Guittard
Dr. Hernando S. Salapare III
Prof. Dr. Josep Samitier

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 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 1000 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

  • NanoTechnology: adhesive/antiadhesive materials, fluorinated materials, nanocomposites, nanostructured materials, micro- and nanofluidics, special wettabilities, plasma processed materials
  • BioTech: green chemistry, biobased chemicals and materials, biodegradable polymers, biocomposites, bioengineering, biomass, bio-sources for fuels
  • SmartTech: stimuli-responsive materials, functional polymeric materials, renewable energy, 3D printing, solar cells, optical devices, self-healing materials

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Live Simultaneous Monitoring of Mineral Deposition and Lipid Accumulation in Differentiating Stem Cells
Biomimetics 2019, 4(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4030048 - 10 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are progenitors for bone-forming osteoblasts and lipid-storing adipocytes, two major lineages co-existing in bone marrow. When isolated in vitro, these stem cells recapitulate osteoblast or adipocyte formation if treated with specialised media, modelling how these lineages interact in vivo. [...] Read more.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are progenitors for bone-forming osteoblasts and lipid-storing adipocytes, two major lineages co-existing in bone marrow. When isolated in vitro, these stem cells recapitulate osteoblast or adipocyte formation if treated with specialised media, modelling how these lineages interact in vivo. Osteogenic differentiation is characterised by mineral deposits accumulating in the extracellular matrix, typically assessed using histological techniques. Adipogenesis occurs with accumulation of intracellular lipids that can be routinely visualised by Oil Red O staining. In both cases, staining requires cell fixation and is thus limited to end-point assessments. Here, a vital staining approach was developed to simultaneously detect mineral deposits and lipid droplets in differentiating cultures. Stem cells induced to differentiate produced mixed cultures containing adipocytes and bone-like nodules, and after two weeks live cultures were incubated with tetracycline hydrochloride and Bodipy to label mineral- and lipid-containing structures, respectively. Fluorescence microscopy showed the simultaneous visualisation of mineralised areas and lipid-filled adipocytes in live cultures. Combined with the nuclear stain Hoechst 33258, this approach further enabled live confocal imaging of adipogenic cells interspersed within the mineralised matrix. This multiplex labelling was repeated at subsequent time-points, demonstrating the potential of this new approach for the real-time high-precision imaging of live stem cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from N.I.C.E. 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Cupric Oxide Nanostructures from Plasma Surface Modification of Copper
Biomimetics 2019, 4(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4020042 - 25 Jun 2019
Abstract
Taking inspiration from the hydrophilic and superhydrophilic properties observed from the nanostructures present on the leaves of plants such as Alocasia odora, Calathea zebrina, and Ruelia devosiana, we were able to synthesize cupric oxide (CuO) nanostructures from the plasma surface [...] Read more.
Taking inspiration from the hydrophilic and superhydrophilic properties observed from the nanostructures present on the leaves of plants such as Alocasia odora, Calathea zebrina, and Ruelia devosiana, we were able to synthesize cupric oxide (CuO) nanostructures from the plasma surface modification of copper (Cu) that exhibits hydrophilic and superhydrophilic properties. The Cu sheets were exposed to oxygen plasma produced from the P300 plasma device (Alliance Concept, Cran-Gevrier, France) at varying power, irradiation times, gas flow rates, and pulsing duty cycles. The untreated and plasma-treated Cu sheets were characterized by contact angle measurements, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) to determine the changes in the surface of Cu before and after plasma treatment. Results showed that plasma-treated Cu sheets exhibited enhanced wetting properties compared to untreated Cu. We attributed the decrease in the measured water contact angles after plasma treatment to increased surface roughness, formation of CuO nanostructures, and transformation of Cu to either CuO2 or Cu2O3. The presence of the CuO nanostructures on the surface of Cu is very useful in terms of its possible applications, such as: (1) in antimicrobial and anti-fouling tubing; (2) in the improvement of heat dissipation devices, such as microfluidic cooling systems and heat pipes; and (3) as an additional protection to Cu from further corrosion. This study also shows the possible mechanisms on how CuO, CuO2, and Cu2O3 were formed from Cu based on the varying the plasma parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from N.I.C.E. 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Citric Acid Tunes the Formation of Antimicrobial Melanin-Like Nanostructures
Biomimetics 2019, 4(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4020040 - 30 May 2019
Abstract
Nature has provided a valuable source of inspiration for developing high performance multifunctional materials. Particularly, catechol-containing amino acid l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA) has aroused the interest to design hybrid multifunctional materials with superior adhesive ability. DOPA oxidative polymerization mediated by either melanogenic [...] Read more.
Nature has provided a valuable source of inspiration for developing high performance multifunctional materials. Particularly, catechol-containing amino acid l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA) has aroused the interest to design hybrid multifunctional materials with superior adhesive ability. DOPA oxidative polymerization mediated by either melanogenic enzymes or an alkaline environment involving catechol intermolecular cross-linking, ultimately leads to melanin oligomers. Recently, relevant studies disclosed the ability of Ti-based nanostructures to tune melanin’s supramolecular structure during its formation, starting from melanogenic precursors, thus improving both antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. In this work, we propose a novel biomimetic approach to design hybrid DOPA melanin-like nanostructures through a hydrothermal synthesis opportunely modified by using citric acid to control hydrolysis and condensation reactions of titanium alkoxide precursors. UV-Vis and Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopic evidences highlighted the key role of citrate–Ti(IV) and DOPA–Ti(IV) complexes in controlling DOPA polymerization, which specifically occurred during the hydrothermal step, mediating and tuning its conversion to melanin-like oligomers. Trasmission electron microscopy (TEM) images proved the efficacy of the proposed synthesis approach in tuning the formation of nanosized globular nanostructures, with high biocide performances. The obtained findings could provide strategic guidelines to set up biomimetic processes, exploiting the catechol-metal complex to obtain hybrid melanin-like nanosystems with optimized multifunctional behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from N.I.C.E. 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Microstructural Surface Properties of Drifting Seeds—A Model for Non-Toxic Antifouling Solutions
Biomimetics 2019, 4(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4020037 - 13 May 2019
Abstract
A major challenge in the shipping and marine industry is the biofouling on under water surfaces. So far, biocides have been the main remedy for the prevention of the adhesion of microorganisms that is also influenced by surface topography. In recent years, research [...] Read more.
A major challenge in the shipping and marine industry is the biofouling on under water surfaces. So far, biocides have been the main remedy for the prevention of the adhesion of microorganisms that is also influenced by surface topography. In recent years, research projects have explored microstructured surfaces as a non-toxic antifouling strategy. In this study, physical factors of surfaces of seeds of 43 plant species were analyzed with regards to their antifouling effects. After exposure to cold water of the North Sea during the swarming periods of the barnacles larvae, the surface microstructures of seeds without fouling of barnacles were identified and compared with each other, using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). In order to validate the findings, selected microstructured surface structure properties were transferred to technical surfaces with a 2-component silicon system and subjected to the same conditions. The results of the analyses confirmed that drifting seeds with specific microstructural surface structure properties promote biofouling defense of epibionts. These results serve as a starting point for the development of non-toxic antifouling agents based on the interaction of microstructures and geometric shapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from N.I.C.E. 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Directed Evolution and Engineering of Gallium-Binding Phage Clones—A Preliminary Study
Biomimetics 2019, 4(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4020035 - 08 May 2019
Abstract
The phage surface display technology is a useful tool to screen and to extend the spectrum of metal-binding protein structures provided by nature. The directed evolution approach allows identifying specific peptide ligands for metals that are less abundant in the biosphere. Such peptides [...] Read more.
The phage surface display technology is a useful tool to screen and to extend the spectrum of metal-binding protein structures provided by nature. The directed evolution approach allows identifying specific peptide ligands for metals that are less abundant in the biosphere. Such peptides are attractive molecules in resource technology. For example, gallium-binding peptides could be applied to recover gallium from low concentrated industrial wastewater. In this study, we investigated the affinity and selectivity of five bacteriophage clones displaying different gallium-binding peptides towards gallium and arsenic in independent biosorption experiments. The displayed peptides were highly selective towards Ga3+ whereby long linear peptides showed a lower affinity and specificity than those with a more rigid structure. Cysteine scanning was performed to determine the relationship between secondary peptide structure and gallium sorption. By site-directed mutagenesis, the amino acids of a preselected peptide sequence are systematically replaced by cysteines. The resulting disulphide bridge considerably reduces the flexibility of linear peptides. Subsequent biosorption experiments carried out with the mutants obtained from cysteine scanning demonstrated, depending on the position of the cysteines in the peptide, either a considerable increase in the affinity of gallium compared to arsenic or an increase in the affinity for arsenic compared to gallium. This study shows the impressive effect on peptide–target interaction based on peptide structure and amino acid position and composition via the newly established systematic cysteine scanning approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from N.I.C.E. 2018)
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