Biotribology inspires new technologies
This review deals with natural biotribological systems and how they have inspired novel micro- and nanotechnological applications. The biogenic devices presented here have functional units in the micro- and nanometer regime and have been evolutionarily optimized over millions of years. The examples discussed comprise natural micromechanical systems made of nanostructured silica (diatoms produce hinges and interlocking devices on the micrometer scale and below), adhesive molecules (selectin and integrin) that can switch states and account for white blood cell rolling in endothelial cells, dry adhesives as they occur on the Gecko foot and certain insect attachment pads, and single molecules that serve as strong self-healing adhesives (diatom underwater adhesives, abalone shell proteins).
Journal: - Volume 2, Issue 5, October 2007, Pages 30–37