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      Biomimetics: lessons from nature–an overview

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      Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
      The Royal Society

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          Abstract

          Nature has developed materials, objects and processes that function from the macroscale to the nanoscale. These have gone through evolution over 3.8 Gyr. The emerging field of biomimetics allows one to mimic biology or nature to develop nanomaterials, nanodevices and processes. Properties of biological materials and surfaces result from a complex interplay between surface morphology and physical and chemical properties. Hierarchical structures with dimensions of features ranging from the macroscale to the nanoscale are extremely common in nature to provide properties of interest. Molecular-scale devices, superhydrophobicity, self-cleaning, drag reduction in fluid flow, energy conversion and conservation, high adhesion, reversible adhesion, aerodynamic lift, materials and fibres with high mechanical strength, biological self-assembly, antireflection, structural coloration, thermal insulation, self-healing and sensory-aid mechanisms are some of the examples found in nature that are of commercial interest. This paper provides a broad overview of the various objects and processes of interest found in nature and applications under development or available in the marketplace.

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          Nature’s hierarchical materials

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            Biophysics: water-repellent legs of water striders.

            Water striders (Gerris remigis) have remarkable non-wetting legs that enable them to stand effortlessly and move quickly on water, a feature believed to be due to a surface-tension effect caused by secreted wax. We show here, however, that it is the special hierarchical structure of the legs, which are covered by large numbers of oriented tiny hairs (microsetae) with fine nanogrooves, that is more important in inducing this water resistance.
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              Characterization and Distribution of Water-repellent, Self-cleaning Plant Surfaces

              C Neinhuis (1997)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
                Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
                The Royal Society
                1364-503X
                1471-2962
                April 28 2009
                April 28 2009
                April 28 2009
                April 28 2009
                : 367
                : 1893
                : 1445-1486
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Nanoprobe Laboratory for Bio- & Nanotechnology and Biomimetics, Ohio State University201 West 19th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1142, USA
                Article
                10.1098/rsta.2009.0011
                19324719
                92559efe-9e81-4947-a47c-34e77d6b1f7d
                © 2009
                History

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