Composites Design and Manufacture (Plymouth University teaching support materials)
ACMC logo

'Inspiration rather than imitation' (Janine Benyus).

Biomimicry taxonomy colour poster

The Biomimetics Network for Industrial Sustainability (BioNIS) defines biomimetics as design inspired by nature - an enabling discipline which looks towards nature for ideas that may be adapted and adopted for solving problems.  Vincent has set up a wiki dedicated to the development of an ontology of biomimetics.  The Biomimicry Institute launched Ask Nature as a biomimicry design web portal - the world's first digital library of Nature's solutions, organized by function, to serve as an educational and cross-pollinating tool and encourage collaboration between biologists, engineers, designers and other innovators.  The key organisations/resources are:

In May 2011, representatives from Germany proposed that ISO (the International Organisation for standards) form a Technical Committee to consider the international standardisation of biomimetic techniques, methods and approaches [1].  In October 2012, the proposal was accepted and ISO/TC 266 set up with three Working Groups. In May 2013, the TC structure was extended to include WG4 as suggested by the Japanese contingent.:

Salustri and Hoeller presented a working draft for a Biomimetic Assessment Framework at the ISO/TC 266 annual meeting during October 2015 in Kyoto.

Ecomimetics extends the concept of biomimetics to inspiration by and understanding of the wisdom of the ecosystem.

  1. T Mead and N Hoeller, The ISO/TC266 Biomimetics Standard initiative, Zygote Quartely, 2014, 3, 72-83.
  2. BS ISO 18458. Biomimetics. Terminology, concepts and methodology, 2014.
  3. BS ISO 18459. Biomimetics. Biomimetic structural optimization, 2014.

Synapse by Biomimicry 3.8
   case studies (to buy!)

Technological areas where biomimetics are applied include:


Composites manufacture

Drag reduction and antifouling

Goethite nanofibres fibre in limpet teeth

  1. L Asfa-Wossen, Limpet teeth bite back, Materials World, April 2016,2494), 33-35. Online access limited to IOM3 members.

Lotus effect

Nano Air Vehicle mimicking a maple seed

µMist™ spray technology for nebulisers, needle-free injections, fire extinguishers and fuel injection systems

Mouldboard plough

Platelet TechnologyTM for pipeline sealing

Propellers and yacht masts

  1. Bird feathers similar to carbon fibre, Reinforced Plastics, March–April 2015, 59(2), 78–79.

Soft robot gripper

Temperature control

Velcro and gecko tape


Recommended reading:

or for some shorter items, see:

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Created as a separate page on 22 June 2005 by John Summerscales and updated by JS on 05-Jan-2021 14:19. Terms and conditions. Errors and omissions. Corrections.