Biomimetics of photonic nanostructures

Nat Nanotechnol. 2007 Jun;2(6):347-53. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2007.152. Epub 2007 Jun 3.


Biomimetics is the extraction of good design from nature. One approach to optical biomimetics focuses on the use of conventional engineering methods to make direct analogues of the reflectors and anti-reflectors found in nature. However, recent collaborations between biologists, physicists, engineers, chemists and materials scientists have ventured beyond experiments that merely mimic what happens in nature, leading to a thriving new area of research involving biomimetics through cell culture. In this new approach, the nanoengineering efficiency of living cells is harnessed and natural organisms such as diatoms and viruses are used to make nanostructures that could have commercial applications.

MeSH terms

  • Biomimetic Materials*
  • Diatoms / cytology
  • Diatoms / physiology*
  • Nanotechnology / instrumentation*
  • Nanotechnology / trends*
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Photons
  • Virus Physiological Phenomena*
  • Viruses / ultrastructure