Biomimetics in Bioengineering: Fractals, Mixers and Colored Bacteria

skoptsytruculentAI and Robotics

Nov 15, 2013 (4 years and 8 months ago)


Biomimetics in Bioengineering:

Fractals, Mixers and Colored Bacteria

Dr. Marc Madou

Chancellor’s Professor UC Irvine

World Class University (WCU) Scholar UNIST

In biomimetics, one studies how nature, building atom by atom, i.e., through bottom
cturing, through eons of evolution of life, developed materials, structures,
processes and intelligence to inspire and improve the engineering and design of artificial
materials, man
made structure
s and processes
. Human manufacturing technology works
in th
e opposite direction, i.e., it builds top
down; in most current manufacturing we tend
to start with larger building blocks and use stiff materials (e.g., Si or stainless steel),
whereas nature prefers small building blocks and mostly soft, low Young’s modu
materials (e.g., muscle or skin). Throughout history, biomimetics has been attempted but
often with less
satisfactory results. Bird flight, for example, did not lead to aircraft,
but mathematical expressions from aerodynamics did. As a consequenc
e, from the
middle of the eighteenth century to about 30 years ago, engineers were tempted to
engineer around nature’s obstacles rather than be inspired by nature itself. Today though,
in fields ranging from artificial intelligence to MEMS, NEMS and smart
materials, the
perceived advantages of bottom
up designs and manufacturing are convincing many
scientists to researc
h natural, biomimetic design, materials

and manufacturing methods.

In this talk we
will focus on three
biomimetic MEMS and NEMS platforms.
The first
borrows fractals from nature to build new types of electrochemical devices such as
improved fuel cells, batteries and biosensors. The second borrows the idea of the out
phase movement of the cilia used by tiny swimmers to build mixing elements

in low
Reynolds numbers fluids to make for faster DNA arrays. The third uses mutated E. coli
for sensing poisons and a fourth employs genetically engineered proteins in responsive
drug delivery.