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BIOMIMETICS-INNOVATION-CENTRE (B-I-C) – Research projects

Locomotion / Motion Systems

 

Biological mechanisms of moving offer a high potential for innovations in efficient applications concerning matters of energy and resources. Therefore different biological mechanisms of drag reduction and alternative propulsion systems are under examination.

 

 

'Functional surfaces'

 

Results from biological 'functional surfaces' can be developed to key innovations for technical and sustainable products. Research is conducted in the fields of gluing, adhesion and bonding, with a focus on marine organisms and structures.

 

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Research projects " Functional Surfaces"

 

Shark2Shipyard – Antifouling inspired by nature

This research project is funded by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU. Its main objective is to examine and realize the applicability of bioinspired antifouling-coatings on a large scale, e.g. for containerships.

Nontoxid antifouling inspired by nature

A coating developed at the B-I-C is able to provide a nontoxid alternative for conventional antifouling coatings. Model organism was the shark, respectively sharkskin.

Biological materials

 

Biological materials are information sources with a high potential for innovations. Especially composite materials offer possible applications in many areas of application.

 

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Research projects " Biological materials"

 

MultiHemp

Within the framework of the EU-funded research project the partners will develop an integrated hemp-based biorefinery for the production of fibres, oils, building and insulating materials, bio-based composite materials, fine chemicals and fuels, whilst also advancing scientific understanding of gene-to-trait relationships in this crop. The essential aim of the KBBE programme is to establish bio-based products on the market.

FIBRAGEN

The international research consortium FIBRAGEN deals with the optimization of flax fibres by breeding methods for the application in composite materials.

Poly lactic acid - Natural fibres compound (PLA-NF)

It is intended to develop a high-quality composite material with optimized properties by means of a novel method to improve the connection of natural fibres and celluloses fibres with the bio-based matrix PLA.

Biological structures and biomechanics

 

Arthropod cuticle is a great biological example of a versatile and highly complex biological composite material.

 

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Current research projects "Biological structures and biomechanics "

Arthropod cuticle is a great biological example of a versatile and highly complex biological composite material. To fully understand the relationship between the structure and the biomechanical properties of a hierarchical material, it is important to look at all the material’s length-scales.
Our projects therefore focus on comprehensive and interdisciplinary studies on the biomechanics of cuticle on all length scales: starting from the biological functionality of the exoskeleton, down to microscopic mechanisms determining the biomechanical properties of the cuticle and nanotechnology methods to manufacture "cuticle-inspired" materials. For further information see: www.janhenningdirks.de

 

  • Fundamental principles of cuticle growth, healing and chitin orientation
    This DFG-funded project focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to understand the molecular principles that determine the orientation of chitin fibers within the cuticle of arthropods (in collaboration with MPI Potsdam, University of Dresden and University of Tübingen).
  • Functional correlation of material properties, morphology and histology in arthropod exoskeletons
    Are there fundamental common principles found in both endo- and exoskeletons? Can some principles be transferred into bio-inspired light-weight composite materials for bioengineering applications?
  • Experimental analysis and numerical simulation of exoskeleton biomechanics
    To understand the role of cuticle building blocks (chitin and protein) in determining the cuticle's biomechanical properties we combine a variety of mechanical and numerical experimental approaches
    .

 

 

 

 

Project management
Prof. Dr. Jan-Henning Dirks

 

 

Publications

  • Aberle, B., Jemmali, R. and Dirks, J.-H. (2017) : Effect of sample treatment on biomechanical properties of insect cuticle Arthropod Structure & Development vol. 46(1), pp. 138-146
  • Parlé, E., Dirks, J.-H. and Taylor, D. (2017) : Damage, repair and regeneration in insect cuticle: The story so far, and possibilities for the future Arthropod Structure & Development (in press)

 

 

Construction / Optimization

 

Biological constructions and structures frequently impress by an enormous capacity accompanied by minimal cost of materials. Numerical simulations and optimization algorithms lead to possible transfers into applications in a broad range of scaling.

 

 

Organization / Logistics

 

Globally distributed supply chains are characterized by their direct relevance for the global climate and global resources as well as by a high degree of complexity. Many biological processes and systems can be used as benchmarks to make an approach for optimizing the logistics of complex global flows of products and information.

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Research projects " Organization / Logistics"

 

BIONOS

The aim of the research project BIONOS is to identify and examine possible approaches to improved supply chains management by means of biological analogues.

 

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