Biomimetics refers to – biologically inspired technologies i.e. human made substances, processes, devices and the systems that imitate nature. Biomimetic can be defined as “A strategic tool designed for creating an advanced and practical technology or materials of which clues can be obtained from actual biological structures and functions” a few of the successful examples of biomimetics are use of fins for swimming, robotic toys, development of prosthetics that mimic real limbs, dental implants, microchips enhancing sensory system that are interfaced with the brain to assist in movement, hearing, and visualizing.
Some of the key players involved are 3B’s Research Group, Applied Biomimetic A/S, Avinent, BIOKON International, Swedish Biomimetics 3000® AB, Bionic engineering network (BEN), BioTomo Pty., Ltd. (Biomimetics).
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Biomimetic is of special interest to researchers in robotics, nanotechnology, medical industry, artificial intelligence (AI), and the military. More recently, biomimetics is suggested in many areas such as navigational systems, signal amplifiers and data converters. Biomimetics, also known by other names, including bionics, biognosis, bio-inspiration, and biomimicry, consequently, current research focuses on the design of polymer actuators that mimic the functionality of muscle, based on alternative working principles. In recent years, material scientists have developed polymer materials that can be used to develop artificial muscles. To assist robotic and prosthetic design, such artificial muscles should be multi-functional, robust, modular, and have the capacity to repair themselves in response to damage. Examples of biologically synthesized complex substances are Diatoms, Abalone (origin of mother-of-pearl), Rat enamel, Sponge spicules and Birds’ bones structure.
Notable innovations that are inspired from nature and are really successful
includes Velcro, Gecko tape, Lotus effect ,self-cleaning surfaces, Drag reduction by shark skin, Platelet Technology for pipe repair, Smart-fabric, ElekTek.
Biomimetics has a wide range of applications.
- Biomimetics in design
- Biomimetic material
- Biomimetic prosthetics / bionics(dental implants)
- Biomimetic robotics
- Biomimetics in processes
- Climate and energy biomimetics
- Biomimetic construction
- Biomimetic sensors
- Bionic kinematics and dynamics
- Biomimetics in information processes
- Application of neurology
- Application of the evolutionary theory
- Biomimetically optimised processes
- Biomimetically optimised organizations
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Biomimetics refers to Creating materials that possess some of the characteristics such as: Respond dynamically to forces applied to them (design-for-function), are able to build themselves in a hierarchical and optimised way (self-assembly), are able to perform more functions when required (multi-functionality): e.g., mechanical and sensorial and ideally, respond in an active way by sealing cracks before they become catastrophic (self-healing).
Biomimetics market is witnessing an admirable growth. Nanoengineered surfaces assure to improve numerous industrial processes and a variety of consumer products. For instance, commercially existent self-cleaning glass products—which depend on superhydrophilic/photocatalytic coatings are already generating significant revenues. Insertion of protein into polymer membrane is being implemented for water treatment, desalination, kidney dialysis, food and beverage processing, dosing and delivery of pharmaceutical. Within the next five years other anticipated commercial market developments range from biomedical, automotive, aviation, building and architectural materials, electronics, energy, optics and textiles.
In terms of geography, North America followed by Europe account for the largest market share of biomimetics market. Moreover, stringent environmental policies focus on protecting the environment, has fueled the development of biomimetics in countries such as the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Canada. However, other regions such as Middle East, Latin America and South East Asia are expected to be the prospective markets in the near future.