If there is one thing for sure, the world of nano research, nanotech, and biomimicry has come a long way over the last few decades. Though nature itself has been leveraging the power of nano ‘technology’ since the dawn of time, scientists and engineers have only recently (the late 1900s) started taking advantage of these innate superpowers to help accentuate the technical age and solve some of the most challenging 21st-century problems.

Biomimicry: The examination of nature’s models, systems, elements, and processes to either emulate or use as inspiration to develop solutions that solve an array of human problems.

Image credit: Ask Nature

The Nature and Technology Relationship

In 1941, an engineer named George de Mestral was casually walking his dog when he noticed burrs sticking to him. Studying the burrs and unearthing their clinging properties, which were hundreds of tiny little hooks, sparked his idea to mimic it – creating one of the most popular biomimicry products today, Velcro. Overall, nature has helped technology advancements and inspired newfound nano research, enabling you to have an increased life quality along the way. For example, your raincoat will seamlessly roll rain droplets away thanks to the design provoked by the lotus leaf’s super-hydrophobic abilities to self-clean/repel water. This very same ‘natural technology’ was also the catalyst for the creation of waterproof phones, water-sealing windshields, and protecting wood or fabric surfaces.

Along with this, let’s not forget the spectacular colours of butterfly wings that helped nanoscientists and engineers control colour ranges and reflectivity by manipulating the structure of the matter on a nano-scale, perfect for eliminating blind spots on cars, increasing the stealth for military soldiers, and supporting surgical professionals. In addition, you can thank Gecko’s unique ability to scale vertical surfaces using the millions of nano-scale hairs on their toes for the rising biomimicry inventions, such as Gecko tape and Gecko-inspired adhesives to help keep people safe where climb actions can be dangerous.

Fun Fact

Summary – Copying Nature On A Molecular Level

In summary, nature and biomimicry have already made lasting impressions, and disruptive changes on both a granular and societal scale and will only continue to do so as scientists, researchers, and nano imprinters unearth nature’s nanotech secrets. All in all, nanotech has been using nature as a prime model to create complex structures and products down to the molecular level, all of which have been deemed quintessential for advancing daily lives here in the present and for generations to come.

As a final note, it is no secret that there have been tons of nano research and invention breakthroughs to date that have amplified humanity as a collective, but the industry is just getting started. Because even though nanotech and biomimicry have already made lasting marks to elevate life quality, it is still very much in its infancy stage – making the future nanoimprinting and nano research an exceptionally intriguing part of human history to watch (or help) unveil.

Do you want to become part of the pioneering wave of nano research and biomimicry?