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Biomimetics, Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2017)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Immobilization of Titanium(IV) Oxide onto 3D Spongin Scaffolds of Marine Sponge Origin According to Extreme Biomimetics Principles for Removal of C.I. Basic Blue 9
Biomimetics 2017, 2(2), 4; doi:10.3390/biomimetics2020004
Received: 9 February 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 25 March 2017
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Abstract
The aim of extreme biomimetics is to design a bridge between extreme biomineralization and bioinspired materials chemistry, where the basic principle is to exploit chemically and thermally stable, renewable biopolymers for the development of the next generation of biologically inspired advanced and functional
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The aim of extreme biomimetics is to design a bridge between extreme biomineralization and bioinspired materials chemistry, where the basic principle is to exploit chemically and thermally stable, renewable biopolymers for the development of the next generation of biologically inspired advanced and functional composite materials. This study reports for the first time the use of proteinaceous spongin-based scaffolds isolated from marine demosponge Hippospongia communis as a three-dimensional (3D) template for the hydrothermal deposition of crystalline titanium dioxide. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) assisted with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) mapping, low temperature nitrogen sorption, thermogravimetric (TG) analysis, X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD), and attenuated total reflectance–Fourier transform infrared (ATR–FTIR) spectroscopy are used as characterization techniques. It was found that, after hydrothermal treatment crystalline titania in anatase form is obtained, which forms a coating around spongin microfibers through interaction with negatively charged functional groups of the structural protein as well as via hydrogen bonding. The material was tested as a potential heterogeneous photocatalyst for removal of C.I. Basic Blue 9 dye under UV irradiation. The obtained 3D composite material shows a high efficiency of dye removal through both adsorption and photocatalysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Biomimetics)
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Open AccessArticle Catechol-Containing Hydroxylated Biomimetic 4-Thiaflavanes as Inhibitors of Amyloid Aggregation
Biomimetics 2017, 2(2), 6; doi:10.3390/biomimetics2020006
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
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Abstract
The study of compounds able to interfere in various ways with amyloid aggregation is of paramount importance in amyloid research. Molecules characterized by a 4-thiaflavane skeleton have received great attention in chemical, medicinal, and pharmaceutical research. Such molecules, especially polyhydroxylated 4-thiaflavanes, can be
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The study of compounds able to interfere in various ways with amyloid aggregation is of paramount importance in amyloid research. Molecules characterized by a 4-thiaflavane skeleton have received great attention in chemical, medicinal, and pharmaceutical research. Such molecules, especially polyhydroxylated 4-thiaflavanes, can be considered as structural mimickers of several natural polyphenols that have been previously demonstrated to bind and impair amyloid fibril formation. In this work, we tested five different 4-thiaflavanes on the hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) amyloid model for their potential anti-amyloid properties. By combining a thioflavin T assay, atomic force microscopy, and a cell toxicity assay, we demonstrated that such compounds can impair the formation of high-order amyloid aggregates and mature fibrils. Despite this, the tested 4-thiaflavanes, although non-toxic per se, are not able to prevent amyloid toxicity on human neuroblastoma cells. Rather, they proved to block early aggregates in a stable, toxic conformation. Accordingly, 4-thiaflavanes can be proposed for further studies aimed at identifying blocking agents for the study of toxicity mechanisms of amyloid aggregation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Catechol-based Systems: Chemistry and Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Geomimetics and Extreme Biomimetics Inspired by Hydrothermal Systems—What Can We Learn from Nature for Materials Synthesis?
Biomimetics 2017, 2(2), 8; doi:10.3390/biomimetics2020008
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 14 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
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Abstract
‘Extreme biomimetics’ and ‘geomimetics’ are relatively recent fields of materials chemistry. Both take inspiration from natural materials for generating novel synthetic materials or enhanced properties in known materials. In geomimetics, the source of inspiration is geological systems, while extreme biomimetics is motivated by
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‘Extreme biomimetics’ and ‘geomimetics’ are relatively recent fields of materials chemistry. Both take inspiration from natural materials for generating novel synthetic materials or enhanced properties in known materials. In geomimetics, the source of inspiration is geological systems, while extreme biomimetics is motivated by organisms operating in—from an anthropocentric point of view—extreme conditions. This review article focuses on geomimetic and extreme biomimetic hydrothermal synthesis. Since hydrothermal preparative chemistry typically uses nothing but water and the required precursors, the field belongs to the research area of ‘green materials chemistry’. Geomimetics, on the one hand, takes inspiration from natural materials formation. Extreme Biomimetics, on the other hand, is inspired by materials found in extremophile organisms, instead of aiming to implement their actual biosynthesis. In this contribution, both extreme biomimetics and geomimetics are first defined, and further critically discussed on the basis of recent, selected examples. Moreover, the necessity for the two closely related fields as well their prospects are commented on. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Biomimetics)
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Open AccessReview Influence of Nanotechnology and the Role of Nanostructures in Biomimetic Studies and Their Potential Applications
Biomimetics 2017, 2(2), 7; doi:10.3390/biomimetics2020007
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
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Abstract
With the advent of nanotechnology, by looking further deep down into the molecular level, today, we are able to understand basic and applied sciences even better than ever before. Not only has nanoscience and nanotechnology allowed us to study the composing structures of
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With the advent of nanotechnology, by looking further deep down into the molecular level, today, we are able to understand basic and applied sciences even better than ever before. Not only has nanoscience and nanotechnology allowed us to study the composing structures of materials in detail, it has also allowed us to fabricate and synthesize such nanostructures using top-down and bottom-up approaches. One such field, which has been significantly influenced by the dawn of nanotechnology is biomimetics. With powerful spectroscopic and microscopic tools presenting us with images like double nanostructured pillars on the lotus surface for superhydrophobicity, the conical protuberances of moth eye demonstrating anti-reflection properties and nanostructured spatulae of gecko feet for high adhesivity, we are now able to fabricate these structures in the lab with properties showing close resemblance to their natural counterparts. Here, we present a review of various nanostructures that exist in nature, their fabrication techniques and some of their promising future applications. We hope this review will provide the reader with a basic understanding of what biomimetics is and how nanotechnology has significantly influenced this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Nanotechnology)
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Other

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Open AccessBook Review Functional Surfaces in Biology; Springer: Berlin, Germany, 2009; 2 Vols.; Edited by Stanislav N. Gorb
Biomimetics 2017, 2(2), 5; doi:10.3390/biomimetics2020005
Received: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 11 April 2017
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