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What Is Biomimicry?



Biomimicry is a combination of two words – bio and mimicry, where bio is short for biology or biological and mimicry stands for imitation. As the word’s literal breakdown states, biomimicry is an innovation in technology which is inspired by nature and its many wonders. Many models are constructed based on nature and its unique elements which help scientists and engineers innovate on a whole new level. Its success is based on the fact that nature has been operating timelessly since forever and its strategies have been tested for long enough to be considered reliable. By emulating these same strategies, one can come up with new and innovative technologies which result in the betterment of the entire mankind.

Biomimicry has numerous advantages and has been responsible for a myriad of scientific achievements and inventions. Some of the many smart and intelligent marvels, which have been inspired through the emulation of nature, have been listed as follows:

  • Velcro – Velcro, a premium manufacturer of hook and loop fasteners and binding, is the most famous example of biomimicry which was invented in the year of 1941 by the Swiss engineer, George de Mestral. This invention was inspired by the fur of dogs. He noticed how easily the burrs of plants stuck to a dog’s fur and investigated the reason for this phenomenon. He found that the fur contained tiny hooks which were responsible for the adhesion and emulated this for the fastening product.
  • Skin grafts – Skin grafts form an innovation in the corrective surgery which has helped millions of people around the world. These grafts are many times stronger and much more stable than the staples which were used earlier in these kinds of surgeries. Do you know what inspired this breakthrough innovation? The parasitic worm, Pomphorhynchus laevis. These worms pierce the body of their host and inflate inside the tissue. Based on this very behavior of the worm, the attachment process of skin grafts has been developed which is the reason of its widespread success.
  • Hospital adhesives – Adhesives are a popular item used very commonly in hospitals as a replacement for the uncomfortable hospital staples. These are very helpful in proper closing and healing of wounds. These adhesives are inspired by geckos! That’s right – geckos have a unique biology because of which they can stick to the walls and climb up and down without falling off. The reason for their successful ‘stickiness’ is the millions of tiny hairs on their toes which can balance their weight easily. The same concept was implemented in the invention of hospital adhesives and the result is powerful, innovative, and very helpful.

These are only a few of the many wonders which have been created by emulating the nature. Many great products have been inspired by animals and their behaviors and biology. The innovative technologies continue to take advantage of the reliability of nature’s ways and biomimicry will continue to serve as a brilliant way to contribute to developments in technology.