AIBN Seminar – 23 May


Molecular Biomimicry: Nature’s 4 billion years of R&D


Presenter: Dr Chris Elvin, CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences

Date: 23 May 2013

Time: 12:00pm

Venue: Parnell Building 07, Lecture Room 222, University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus



We live in a resource constrained world, with increasing pressure on our industries to get more from less, and leave smaller environmental footprints while maintaining profitability. Our premise is that these goals can best be achieved by learning from – and improving wherever possible – nature’s evolved “designs”. This is the field of biomimetics, where technology transfer is from nature to man. Over the past 4 billion years, biology has evolved high performance materials, devices and processes that function from the nano- to the macro-scale.

In this talk, I present several practical examples of molecular biomimicry, illustrating the abstraction of molecular design from nature and the adaption of chemical structures into materials and devices. This is achieved through collaboration at the interface between the life sciences, engineering and physics (“convergence”). The examples include applications of the remarkable insect rubber protein resilin, the development of a superior surgical tissue sealant (PhotoSeal™) and the development of water channel mimics for clean water production.


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