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Written by Grant England AP225, Fall 2011

Bio-inspired refers to any material or process which has been designed to obtain a goal which uses techniques or designs which have been inspired by biological samples. This is different from biomimetics in that the end goal is the same as that of the inspirational biological structure, but the method for obtaining the desired properties is often different--or simplified--from the biological inspiration.

Examples include anti-reflection coating designs created by studying the structure of fly eyes ([1]), or the creation of an omniphobic surface by studying the structure of the pitcher plant (Bioinspired self-repairing slippery surfaces with pressure-stable omniphobicity).


Often, robotics take inspiration from biology for motion and sensing capabilities given limited resources. Harvard has a center for biorobotics [3] devoted to this.

Keyword in references:

Bio-inspired Design of Submerged Hydrogel-Actuated Polymer Microstructures Operating in Response to pH

Bioinspired self-repairing slippery surfaces with pressure-stable omniphobicity