Bioinspiration: Applying mechanical design to experimental biology

Brooke E. Flammang, Marianne E. Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The production of bioinspired and biomimetic constructs has fostered much collaboration between biologists and engineers, although the extent of biological accuracy employed in the designs produced has not always been a priority. Even the exact definitions of "bioinspired" and "biomimetic" differ among biologists, engineers, and industrial designers, leading to confusion regarding the level of integration and replication of biological principles and physiology. By any name, biologically-inspired mechanical constructs have become an increasingly important research tool in experimental biology, offering the opportunity to focus research by creating model organisms that can be easily manipulated to fill a desired parameter space of structural and functional repertoires. Innovative researchers with both biological and engineering backgrounds have found ways to use bioinspired models to explore the biomechanics of organisms from all kingdoms to answer a variety of different questions. Bringing together these biologists and engineers will hopefully result in an open discourse of techniques and fruitful collaborations for experimental and industrial endeavors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-132
Number of pages5
JournalIntegrative and Comparative Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Plant Science


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