Authors: Erich Sackmann
Addresses: Physics Department, Technical University Munich, James Franck Str.1, D85747 Garching, Germany
Abstract: The sheer infinite manifold of living beings has been designed with an astonishing small number of organic molecules. This was achieved by interplay of physics, chemistry, genetics and the concept of hierarchical design. Many concepts of human rational design of smart materials were invented by nature several billion years ago. Nature can teach us how to design highly sophisticated mechanical structures and systems comprising length scales from nanometres to metres by hierarchical design from functional modules (such as lipid membranes, ion pumps and molecular motors). As a first example, I consider the selection of smart organic molecules that self-assembled into energy-producing machines during primordial evolution. I secondly show that we can learn much on the design of smart materials and robots by studying the behaviour of animals surviving under the harsh conditions of desert life.
Keywords: biology inspired physics; biomaterials; evolution genetics; learning from nature; biomimetics; solar energy conversion; solar power; nanotribology; nanotechnology; smart materials; organic molecules; self-assembly; robot design; desert life; deserts.
International Journal of Nanotechnology, 2013 Vol.10 No.5/6/7, pp.376 - 389
Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021
Published online: 26 Apr 2013 *