Biomimetic Materials for Engineering Applications

Oraib Al-Ketan, Reza Rowshan, Abdul Hai Alami

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Over a period that spans as long as Earth existence, various macroscopic and microscopic organisms existed and exhibited fascinating multifunctionalities derived from their microstructural features and hierarchy. These biological systems have always been a source of inspiration for the scientific community to develop advanced multifunctional materials for use in different engineering applications. Many marine organisms such as nacre, conch, and shrimps are covered with calcareous shells that exhibit a combination of strength and toughness necessary for their protection from external threats. These naturally occurring shells have motivated researchers to develop materials with desirable properties such as impact resistance, crashworthiness, and energy absorption capabilities for use in automotive, aerospace, and military applications. The combination of high strength and lightweight nature of bone inspired synthetic cellular materials with high structural efficiency and the culmination of such properties. For example, observations of the self-cleaning attributes of lotus leaves, fish scales, and butterfly wings have motivated the development of self-cleaning surfaces for different applications such as anti-icing, vehicle windshield, and solar panels among others. In this article, we shed light on some of these biological systems and the microstructure-driven mechanisms that drive their fascinating functionalities. This article will also present a few cases of manmade materials inspired by these biological systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Smart Materials
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128157336
ISBN (Print)9780128157329
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Biological systems
  • Biomimetic
  • Cellular materials
  • Closed-cell foam
  • Composite materials
  • Functional grading
  • Hierarchy
  • Lattices
  • Microstructure
  • Nature-inspired
  • Open-cell foam
  • Self-cleaning
  • Structure-property relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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