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J R Soc Interface. 2007 Aug 22;4(15):637-42.

Biomimetic materials research: what can we really learn from nature's structural materials?

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Department of Biomaterials, Research Campus Golm, 14424 Potsdam, Germany. peter.fratzl@mpikg.mpg.de

Abstract

Nature provides a wide range of materials with different functions and which may serve as a source of bio-inspiration for the materials scientist. The article takes the point of view that a successful translation of these ideas into the technical world requires more than the observation of nature. A thorough analysis of structure-function relations in natural tissues must precede the engineering of new bio-inspired materials. There are, indeed, many opportunities for lessons from the biological world: on growth and functional adaptation, about hierarchical structuring, on damage repair and self-healing. Biomimetic materials research is becoming a rapidly growing and enormously promising field. Serendipitous discovery from the observation of nature will be gradually replaced by a systematic approach involving the study of natural tissues in materials laboratories, the application of engineering principles to the further development of bio-inspired ideas and the generation of specific databases.

PMID:
17341452
PMCID:
PMC2373394
DOI:
10.1098/rsif.2007.0218
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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