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Re-designing materials for biomedical applications: from biomimicry to nature-inspired chemical engineering

Ayomi S. Perera, Marc-Olivier Coppens

Abstract: Gathering inspiration from nature for the design of new materials, products and processes is a topic gaining rapid interest among scientists and engineers. In this review, we introduce the concept of nature-inspired chemical engineering (NICE). We critically examine how this approach offers advantages over straightforward biomimicry and distinguishes itself from bio-integrated design, as a systematic methodology to present innovative solutions to challenging problems. The scope of application of the nature-inspired approach is demonstrated via examples from the field of biomedicine, where much of the inspiration is still more narrowly focused on imitation or bio-integration. We conclude with an outlook on prospective future applications, offered by the more systematic and mechanistically based NICE approach, complemented by rapid progress in manufacturing, computation and robotics.
Keywords: Biomimetics / biomedicine / Biomedical Materials / bioinspired / Nature-inspired Engineering

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