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Yun-Yun Song, Yan Liu, Hao-Bo Jiang, Shu-Yi Li, Cigdem Kaya, Thomas Stegmaier, Zhi-Wu Han, Lu-Quan Ren
Inspired by the fog harvesting ability of the spider net and the interphase wetting surface of Namib desert beetles, we designed a kind of special bioinspired hybrid wetting surface on a Cu mesh by combining polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and graphene (G). A surface containing hydrophobic and superhydrophobic areas is prepared by a combination of laser etching and ultrasonic vibration. Thus, this as-prepared hybrid wetting surface can quickly drive tiny water droplets toward more wettable regions, which makes a great contribution to the improvement of collection efficiency...
August 17, 2018: Nanoscale
Myrto Korogiannaki, Michael Samsom, Tannin A Schmidt, Heather Sheardown
Ocular dryness and discomfort is the primary reason for the discontinuation of contact lens wear. This is mainly due to poorly hydrated contact lens surfaces and increased friction, particularly at the end of the day and can potentially cause reduced vision or even inflammation. Proteoglycan 4 (PRG4) is a mucinous glycoprotein with boundary lubricating properties, naturally found in the eye, able to prevent tear film evaporation and protect the ocular surface during blinking. Aiming to improve the interfacial interactions between the ocular surface and the contact lens, the synthesis and characterization of surface modified model contact lenses with PRG4 is described...
August 16, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Yunfeng Ding, Luis Eduardo Contreras-Llano, Eliza Morris, Michelle Mao, Cheemeng Tan
The functioning of synthetic gene circuits depends on their local chemical context defined by the types and concentrations of biomolecules in the surrounding milieu that influence gene transcription and translation. This chemical-context dependence of synthetic gene circuits arises from significant yet unknown crosstalk between engineered components, host cells, and environmental factors, and has been a persistent challenge for synthetic biology. Here, we show that the sensitivity of synthetic gene networks to their chemical contexts can be minimized and their designed functions rendered robust using artificial cells, which are synthetic biomolecular compartments engineered from the bottom-up using liposomes that encapsulate the gene networks...
August 16, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Ye Tian, Jian-Chun Wang, Liqiu Wang
We present a gas-in-water microfluidic method to precisely fabricate well-controlled versatile microfibers with cavity knots (named cavity-microfiber), like tiny-cavity-microfiber, hybrid-cavity-microfiber, cavity-microfiber and chained microfiber. The cavity-microfibers are endowed with tunable morphologies, unique surface properties, high specific surface area, assembling ability, flexibility, cytocompatibility and hydroscopicity. We assemble cavity-microfibers as 3D scaffolds for culturing the human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and dehumidifying...
August 16, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Bodo D Wilts, Vinodkumar Saranathan
The brilliant colors of many insects arise from the interference of incident light with complex nanostructured biomaterials that are present in their cuticle. Here, the rainbow-colored spots on the elytra of a snout weevil, Pachyrrhynchus congestus pavonius (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), are investigated using synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering, scanning electron microscopy, microspectrophotometry, and photonic bandgap modeling. It is shown that the iridescent scales present in the rainbow-hued spots are due to a 3D photonic crystal network of chitin in air with a single diamond (Fd-3m) symmetry...
August 15, 2018: Small
Sharon Hammes-Schiffer
The development of renewable energy sources that are environmentally friendly and economical is of critical importance. The effective utilization of such energy sources relies on catalysts to facilitate the interconversion between electrical and chemical energy through multielectron, multiproton reactions. The design of effective catalysts for these types of energy conversion processes requires the ability to control the localization and movement of electrons and protons, as well as the coupling between them...
August 15, 2018: Accounts of Chemical Research
Jacques Duysens, Arturo Forner-Cordero
This paper provides an update on the neural control of bipedal walking in relation to bioinspired models and robots. It is argued that most current models or robots are based on the construct of a symmetrical CPG (central pattern generator). However, new evidence suggests that CPG functioning is basically asymmetrical with its flexor half linked more tightly to the rhythm generator. The stability of bipedal gait, which is an important problem for robots and biological systems, is also addressed. While it is not possible to determine how biological biped systems guarantee stability, robot solutions can be useful to propose new hypothesis for biology...
August 15, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Zhi-Long Yu, Ning Yang, Li-Chuan Zhou, Zhi-Yuan Ma, Yin-Bo Zhu, Yu-Yang Lu, Bing Qin, Wei-Yi Xing, Tao Ma, Si-Cheng Li, Huai-Ling Gao, Heng-An Wu, Shu-Hong Yu
Woods provide bioinspiration for engineering materials due to their superior mechanical performance. We demonstrate a novel strategy for large-scale fabrication of a family of bioinspired polymeric woods with similar polyphenol matrix materials, wood-like cellular microstructures, and outstanding comprehensive performance by a self-assembly and thermocuring process of traditional resins. In contrast to natural woods, polymeric woods demonstrate comparable mechanical properties (a compressive yield strength of up to 45 MPa), preferable corrosion resistance to acid with no decrease in mechanical properties, and much better thermal insulation (as low as ~21 mW m-1 K-1 ) and fire retardancy...
August 2018: Science Advances
Qiyu Wang, Zhian Zhang, Mengran Wang, Fangyang Liu, Liangxing Jiang, Bo Hong, Jie Li, Yanqing Lai
Laccase is one of the most effective biocatalysts for oxygen reduction under physiological conditions. Its unique Cu- and N-based active sites with direct electrical pathways for electrons can guarantee rapid oxygen exchange and reduction. Inspired by this specific structure, we designed and fabricated porous fiber-like Cu/N/C based on MOFs as an ORR catalyst. Precision morphology control of fibers contributed to an increase in the electron transport rate compared with that of Cu/N/C nanoparticles, which could minimize interparticle ohmic contacts and provide direct electrical pathways along with sufficient active sites to catalyze oxygen reduction...
August 13, 2018: Nanoscale
Yun Jung Yang, Yoo Seong Choi, Hyung Joon Cha
With the help of recombinant DNA technology, many protein candidates have been investigated and engineered for biomaterial applications. Particularly, several repeat sequences with unique secondary structures have been selected as minimal building blocks for biosynthesis to improve the mechanical properties of biomaterials. However, most of these structural proteins have been limited to silk, elastin, collagen, and resilin for decades. In the present work, new repeat sequence found in sea anemone were characterized and biosynthesized into a recombinant protein (named anegen) for potential use as a load-bearing biomaterial...
August 13, 2018: Biotechnology Journal
Christopher Black, Radu Darie, David Borton
Artificial restoration of touch is an active area of research in neuroprosthetics. However, most approaches do not consider emulating the biological machinery they intend to replace. Recently, Kim et al. proposed a bioinspired artificial touch transducer that closely mimics the behavior of natural sensory afferents.
August 6, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Stuart Kyle, Zita M Jessop, Ayesha Al-Sabah, Karl Hawkins, Aled Lewis, Thierry Maffeis, Cecile Charbonneau, Andrea Gazze, Lewis W Francis, Mikhail Iakovlev, Kim Nelson, Stephen J Eichhorn, Iain S Whitaker
Bioinspiration from hierarchical structures found in natural environments has heralded a new age of advanced functional materials. Nanocellulose has received significant attention due to the demand for high-performance materials with tailored mechanical, physical and biological properties. In this study, nanocellulose fibrils, nanocrystals and a novel mixture of fibrils and nanocrystals (blend) were prepared from softwood biomass using the AVAP® biorefinery technology. These materials were characterized using transmission and scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy...
October 15, 2018: Carbohydrate Polymers
Ningning Song, Yunya Zhang, Zan Gao, Xiaodong Li
Nature's multiscale reinforcing mechanisms in fabricating composite armors such as seashells provide lessons for engineering materials design and manufacturing. However, it is still a challenge to simultaneously add both micro- and nano-reinforcements in a matrix material since nano-fillers tend to agglomerate, decreasing their reinforcing effects. In this study, we report a new type of micro/nano hybrid filler, synthesized by an unconventional cotton aided method, which has B4C microplatelet as the core and radially aligned B4C nanowires as the shell...
August 8, 2018: Nano Letters
In Ho Kim, Taeyeong Yun, Jae-Eun Kim, Hayoung Yu, Suchithra Padmajan Sasikala, Kyung Eun Lee, Sung Hwan Koo, Hoseong Hwang, Hong Ju Jung, Jeong Young Park, Hyeon Su Jeong, Sang Ouk Kim
Inspired by mussel adhesive polydopamine (PDA), effective reinforcement of graphene-based liquid crystalline fibers to attain high mechanical and electrical properties simultaneously is presented. The two-step defect engineering, relying on bioinspired surface polymerization and subsequent solution infiltration of PDA, addresses the intrinsic limitation of graphene fibers arising from the folding and wrinkling of graphene layers during the fiber-spinning process. For a clear understanding of the mechanism of PDA-induced defect engineering, interfacial adhesion between graphene oxide sheets is straightforwardly analyzed by the atomic force microscopy pull-off test...
August 8, 2018: Advanced Materials
Xuan Liu, Lunzhi Yuan, Liang Zhang, Yalin Mu, Xiaoling Li, Chao Liu, Peng Lv, Yali Zhang, Tong Cheng, Quan Yuan, Ningshao Xia, Xiaoyuan Chen, Gang Liu
We report a facile route for fabricating a new class of nanomimics that overexpress hepatitis B virus (HBV) receptor via a natural biosynthetic procedure against HBV infection. We engineered a nine-transmembrane HBV-specific receptor, human sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide (hNTCP), to naturally immobilize it onto the cellular surface and subsequently trigger the budding of hNTCP-anchoring membrane vesicles (hNTCP-MVs) that favor the HBV virion. We confirmed that hNTCP-MVs could rapidly block HBV infection in cell models...
August 8, 2018: Angewandte Chemie
Marco Fielder, Arun K Nair
Bone is a biomaterial with a structural load-bearing function. Investigating the biomechanics of bone at the nanoscale is important in application to tissue engineering, the development of bioinspired materials, and for characterizing factors such as age, trauma, or disease. At the nanoscale, bone is composed of fibrils that are primarily a composite of collagen, apatite crystals (mineral), and water. Though several studies have been done characterizing the mechanics of fibrils, the effects of variation and distribution of water and mineral content in fibril gap and overlap regions are unexplored...
August 7, 2018: Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Deepa Kodali, Chang-Kwon Kang
This corrigendum provides a correction to the manuscript. We show that a higher order fluid-structure interaction term that accounts for the transversal flow oscillations, induced by the compliant motion of the airfoil, leads to the Theodorsen's lift equation with a sign reversal for one of the terms. This modified Theodorsen's equation was used in the manuscript.
August 7, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Heon Woo Lee, Bum Soo Park, Jae-Hyoung Joo, Shailesh Kumar Patidar, Hye Jeong Choi, EonSeon Jin, Myung-Soo Han
To mitigate cyanobacterial blooms, the naphthoquinone derivative, NQ 2-0, which has selective algicidal activity against cyanobacteria, has been developed. However, due to a lack of information on its algicidal mechanisms, there are significant gaps in our understanding of how this substance is capable of selectively killing cyanobacteria. Here, we investigated the selective algicidal mechanisms of NQ 2-0 using target (Microcystis aeruginosa) and non-target (Cyclotella sp. and Selenastrum capricornutum) species...
August 2, 2018: Scientific Reports
Simon Wilshin, Paul S Shamble, Kyle J Hovey, Ryan Harris, Andrew J Spence, S Tonia Hsieh
Although many arthropods have the ability to voluntarily lose limbs, how these animals rapidly adapt to such an extreme perturbation remains poorly understood. It is thought that moving with certain gaits can enable efficient, stable locomotion; however, switching gaits requires complex information flow between and coordination of an animal's limbs. We show here that upon losing two legs, spiders can switch to a novel, more statically stable gait, or use temporal adjustments without a gait change. The resulting gaits have higher overall static stability than the gaits that would be imposed by limb loss...
August 2, 2018: Journal of Experimental Biology
Marco Bortoli, Francesco Zaccaria, Marco Dalla Tiezza, Matteo Bruschi, Célia Fonseca Guerra, F Matthias Bickelhaupt, Laura Orian
The reactivity of diselenides and ditellurides of general formula (RX)2 (X = Se, Te; R = H, CH3, Ph) toward hydrogen peroxide was studied through a computational approach based on accurate Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations. The aliphatic and aromatic dichalcogenides have been chosen in light of their activity in glutathione peroxidase (GPx)-like catalytic cycles and their promising features as efficient antioxidant compounds. The reaction products, the energetics and the mechanistic details of these oxidations are discussed...
August 15, 2018: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
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