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Sample records for bio-inspired speed detection

  1. Compressive Sensing Based Bio-Inspired Shape Feature Detection CMOS Imager

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duong, Tuan A. (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    A CMOS imager integrated circuit using compressive sensing and bio-inspired detection is presented which integrates novel functions and algorithms within a novel hardware architecture enabling efficient on-chip implementation.

  2. Bio Inspired Swarm Algorithm for Tumor Detection in Digital Mammogram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dheeba, J.; Selvi, Tamil

    Microcalcification clusters in mammograms is the significant early sign of breast cancer. Individual clusters are difficult to detect and hence an automatic computer aided mechanism will help the radiologist in detecting the microcalcification clusters in an easy and efficient way. This paper presents a new classification approach for detection of microcalcification in digital mammogram using particle swarm optimization algorithm (PSO) based clustering technique. Fuzzy C-means clustering technique, well defined for clustering data sets are used in combination with the PSO. We adopt the particle swarm optimization to search the cluster center in the arbitrary data set automatically. PSO can search the best solution from the probability option of the Social-only model and Cognition-only model. This method is quite simple and valid, and it can avoid the minimum local value. The proposed classification approach is applied to a database of 322 dense mammographic images, originating from the MIAS database. Results shows that the proposed PSO-FCM approach gives better detection performance compared to conventional approaches.

  3. Bio-inspired group modeling and analysis for intruder detection in mobile sensor/robotic networks.

    PubMed

    Fu, Bo; Xiao, Yang; Liang, Xiannuan; Philip Chen, C L

    2015-01-01

    Although previous bio-inspired models have concentrated on invertebrates (such as ants), mammals such as primates with higher cognitive function are valuable for modeling the increasingly complex problems in engineering. Understanding primates' social and communication systems, and applying what is learned from them to engineering domains is likely to inspire solutions to a number of problems. This paper presents a novel bio-inspired approach to determine group size by researching and simulating primate society. Group size does matter for both primate society and digital entities. It is difficult to determine how to group mobile sensors/robots that patrol in a large area when many factors are considered such as patrol efficiency, wireless interference, coverage, inter/intragroup communications, etc. This paper presents a simulation-based theoretical study on patrolling strategies for robot groups with the comparison of large and small groups through simulations and theoretical results. PMID:24846688

  4. A bio-inspired asynchronous skin system for crack detection applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharp, Nathan; Kuntz, Alan; Brubaker, Cole; Amos, Stephanie; Gao, Wei; Gupta, Gautum; Mohite, Aditya; Farrar, Charles; Mascareñas, David

    2014-05-01

    In many applications of structural health monitoring (SHM) it is imperative or advantageous to have large sensor arrays in order to properly sense the state of health of the structure. Typically these sensor networks are implemented by placing a large number of sensors over a structure and running individual cables from each sensor back to a central measurement station. Data is then collected from each sensor on the network at a constant sampling rate regardless of the current timescales at which events are acting on the structure. These conventional SHM sensor networks have a number of shortfalls. They tend to have a large number of cables that can represent a single point of failure for each sensor as well as add significant weight and installation costs. The constant sampling rate associated with each sensor very quickly leads to large amounts of data that must be analyzed, stored, and possibly transmitted to a remote user. This leads to increased demands on power consumption, bandwidth, and size. It also taxes our current techniques for managing large amounts of data. For the last decade the goal of the SHM community has been to endow structures with the functionality of a biological nervous system. Despite this goal the community has predominantly ignored the biological nervous system as inspiration for building structural nervous systems, choosing instead to focus on experimental mechanics and simulation techniques. In this work we explore the use of a novel, bio-inspired, SHM skin. This skin makes use of distributed computing and asynchronous communication techniques to alleviate the scale of the data management challenge as well as reduce power. The system also periodically sends a ‘heat beat’ signal to provide state-of-health updates. This conductive skin was implemented using conductive ink resistors as well as with graphene-oxide capacitors.

  5. Bio-inspired vision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Posch, C.

    2012-01-01

    Nature still outperforms the most powerful computers in routine functions involving perception, sensing and actuation like vision, audition, and motion control, and is, most strikingly, orders of magnitude more energy-efficient than its artificial competitors. The reasons for the superior performance of biological systems are subject to diverse investigations, but it is clear that the form of hardware and the style of computation in nervous systems are fundamentally different from what is used in artificial synchronous information processing systems. Very generally speaking, biological neural systems rely on a large number of relatively simple, slow and unreliable processing elements and obtain performance and robustness from a massively parallel principle of operation and a high level of redundancy where the failure of single elements usually does not induce any observable system performance degradation. In the late 1980`s, Carver Mead demonstrated that silicon VLSI technology can be employed in implementing ``neuromorphic'' circuits that mimic neural functions and fabricating building blocks that work like their biological role models. Neuromorphic systems, as the biological systems they model, are adaptive, fault-tolerant and scalable, and process information using energy-efficient, asynchronous, event-driven methods. In this paper, some basics of neuromorphic electronic engineering and its impact on recent developments in optical sensing and artificial vision are presented. It is demonstrated that bio-inspired vision systems have the potential to outperform conventional, frame-based vision acquisition and processing systems in many application fields and to establish new benchmarks in terms of redundancy suppression/data compression, dynamic range, temporal resolution and power efficiency to realize advanced functionality like 3D vision, object tracking, motor control, visual feedback loops, etc. in real-time. It is argued that future artificial vision systems

  6. Quality-of-service sensitivity to bio-inspired/evolutionary computational methods for intrusion detection in wireless ad hoc multimedia sensor networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hortos, William S.

    2012-06-01

    In the author's previous work, a cross-layer protocol approach to wireless sensor network (WSN) intrusion detection an identification is created with multiple bio-inspired/evolutionary computational methods applied to the functions of the protocol layers, a single method to each layer, to improve the intrusion-detection performance of the protocol over that of one method applied to only a single layer's functions. The WSN cross-layer protocol design embeds GAs, anti-phase synchronization, ACO, and a trust model based on quantized data reputation at the physical, MAC, network, and application layer, respectively. The construct neglects to assess the net effect of the combined bioinspired methods on the quality-of-service (QoS) performance for "normal" data streams, that is, streams without intrusions. Analytic expressions of throughput, delay, and jitter, coupled with simulation results for WSNs free of intrusion attacks, are the basis for sensitivity analyses of QoS metrics for normal traffic to the bio-inspired methods.

  7. Bio-Inspired Antifouling Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirschner, Chelsea M.; Brennan, Anthony B.

    2012-08-01

    Biofouling is a complex, dynamic problem that globally impacts both the economy and environment. Interdisciplinary research in marine biology, polymer science, and engineering has led to the implementation of bio-inspired strategies for the development of the next generation of antifouling marine coatings. Natural fouling defense mechanisms have been mimicked through chemical, physical, and/or stimuli-responsive strategies. This review outlines the detrimental effects associated with biofouling, describes the theoretical basis for antifouling coating design, and highlights prominent advances in bio-inspired antifouling technologies.

  8. Bio-inspired approach for intelligent unattended ground sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueber, Nicolas; Raymond, Pierre; Hennequin, Christophe; Pichler, Alexander; Perrot, Maxime; Voisin, Philippe; Moeglin, Jean-Pierre

    2015-05-01

    Improving the surveillance capacity over wide zones requires a set of smart battery-powered Unattended Ground Sensors capable of issuing an alarm to a decision-making center. Only high-level information has to be sent when a relevant suspicious situation occurs. In this paper we propose an innovative bio-inspired approach that mimics the human bi-modal vision mechanism and the parallel processing ability of the human brain. The designed prototype exploits two levels of analysis: a low-level panoramic motion analysis, the peripheral vision, and a high-level event-focused analysis, the foveal vision. By tracking moving objects and fusing multiple criteria (size, speed, trajectory, etc.), the peripheral vision module acts as a fast relevant event detector. The foveal vision module focuses on the detected events to extract more detailed features (texture, color, shape, etc.) in order to improve the recognition efficiency. The implemented recognition core is able to acquire human knowledge and to classify in real-time a huge amount of heterogeneous data thanks to its natively parallel hardware structure. This UGS prototype validates our system approach under laboratory tests. The peripheral analysis module demonstrates a low false alarm rate whereas the foveal vision correctly focuses on the detected events. A parallel FPGA implementation of the recognition core succeeds in fulfilling the embedded application requirements. These results are paving the way of future reconfigurable virtual field agents. By locally processing the data and sending only high-level information, their energy requirements and electromagnetic signature are optimized. Moreover, the embedded Artificial Intelligence core enables these bio-inspired systems to recognize and learn new significant events. By duplicating human expertise in potentially hazardous places, our miniature visual event detector will allow early warning and contribute to better human decision making.

  9. Switchable bio-inspired adhesives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kroner, Elmar

    2015-03-01

    Geckos have astonishing climbing abilities. They can adhere to almost any surface and can run on walls and even stick to ceilings. The extraordinary adhesion performance is caused by a combination of a complex surface pattern on their toes and the biomechanics of its movement. These biological dry adhesives have been intensely investigated during recent years because of the unique combination of adhesive properties. They provide high adhesion, allow for easy detachment, can be removed residue-free, and have self-cleaning properties. Many aspects have been successfully mimicked, leading to artificial, bio-inspired, patterned dry adhesives, and were addressed and in some aspects they even outperform the adhesion capabilities of geckos. However, designing artificial patterned adhesion systems with switchable adhesion remains a big challenge; the gecko's adhesion system is based on a complex hierarchical surface structure and on advanced biomechanics, which are both difficult to mimic. In this paper, two approaches are presented to achieve switchable adhesion. The first approach is based on a patterned polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer, where adhesion can be switched on and off by applying a low and a high compressive preload. The switch in adhesion is caused by a reversible mechanical instability of the adhesive silicone structures. The second approach is based on a composite material consisting of a Nickel- Titanium (NiTi) shape memory alloy and a patterned adhesive PDMS layer. The NiTi alloy is trained to change its surface topography as a function of temperature, which results in a change of the contact area and of alignment of the adhesive pattern towards a substrate, leading to switchable adhesion. These examples show that the unique properties of bio-inspired adhesives can be greatly improved by new concepts such as mechanical instability or by the use of active materials which react to external stimuli.

  10. Autonomous UAV persistent surveillance using bio-inspired strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burman, Jerry; Hespanha, Joao; Madhow, Upamanyu; Isaacs, Jason; Venkateswaran, Sriram; Pham, Tien

    2012-06-01

    A team consisting of Teledyne Scientific Company, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Army Research Laboratory, the Engineer Research and Development Center, and IBM UK is developing technologies in support of automated data exfiltration from heterogeneous battlefield sensor networks to enhance situational awareness for dismounts and command echelons. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) provide an effective means to autonomously collect data from a sparse network of unattended ground sensors (UGSs) that cannot communicate with each other. UAVs are used to reduce the system reaction time by generating autonomous collection routes that are data-driven. Bioinspired techniques for autonomous search provide a novel strategy to detect, capture and fuse data from heterogeneous sensor networks. The bio-inspired algorithm is based on chemotaxis or the motion of bacteria seeking nutrients in their environment. Field tests of a bio-inspired system that routed UAVs were conducted in June 2011 at Camp Roberts, CA. The field test results showed that such a system can autonomously detect and locate the source of terrestrial events with very high accuracy and visually verify the event. In June 2011, field tests of the system were completed and include the use of multiple autonomously controlled UAVs, detection and disambiguation of multiple acoustic events occurring in short time frames, optimal sensor placement based on local phenomenology and the use of the International Technology Alliance (ITA) Sensor Network Fabric. The system demonstrated TRL 6 performance in the field at Camp Roberts.

  11. Heterogeneous sensor networks: a bio-inspired overlay architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burman, Jerry; Hespanha, Joao; Madhow, Upamanyu; Klein, Daniel; Isaacs, Jason; Venkateswaran, Sriram; Pham, Tien

    2010-04-01

    Teledyne Scientific Company, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the Army Research Lab are developing technologies for automated data exfiltration from heterogeneous sensor networks through the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies (ICB). Unmanned air vehicles (UAV) provide an effective means to autonomously collect data from unattended ground sensors (UGSs) that cannot communicate with each other. UAVs are used to reduce the system reaction time by generating autonomous data-driven collection routes. Bio-inspired techniques for search provide a novel strategy to detect, capture and fuse data across heterogeneous sensors. A fast and accurate method has been developed for routing UAVs and localizing an event by fusing data from a sparse number of UGSs; it leverages a bio-inspired technique based on chemotaxis or the motion of bacteria seeking nutrients in their environment. The system was implemented and successfully tested using a high level simulation environment using a flight simulator to emulate a UAV. A field test was also conducted in November 2009 at Camp Roberts, CA using a UAV provided by AeroMech Engineering. The field test results showed that the system can detect and locate the source of an acoustic event with an accuracy of about 3 meters average circular error.

  12. Bio-inspired synthesis of metal nanomaterials and applications.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jiale; Lin, Liqin; Sun, Daohua; Chen, Huimei; Yang, Dapeng; Li, Qingbiao

    2015-10-01

    This critical review focuses on recent advances in the bio-inspired synthesis of metal nanomaterials (MNMs) using microorganisms, viruses, plants, proteins and DNA molecules as well as their applications in various fields. Prospects in the design of bio-inspired MNMs for novel applications are also discussed. PMID:26083903

  13. Bio-inspired flapping UAV design: a university perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Jae-Hung; Lee, Jun-Seong; Kim, Dae-Kwan

    2009-03-01

    Bio-inspired design to make artificial flappers fly does not just imitate biological systems as closely as possible, but also transferring the flappers' own functionalities to engineering solutions. This paper summarizes some key technical issues and the states-of-art of bio-inspired design of flapping UAVs with an introduction to authors' recent research results in this field.

  14. Bio-inspired networks for optoelectronic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Bing; Huang, Yuanlin; Li, Ruopeng; Peng, Qiang; Luo, Junyi; Pei, Ke; Herczynski, Andrzej; Kempa, Krzysztof; Ren, Zhifeng; Gao, Jinwei

    2014-11-01

    Modern optoelectronics needs development of new materials characterized not only by high optical transparency and electrical conductivity, but also by mechanical strength, and flexibility. Recent advances employ grids of metallic micro- and nanowires, but the overall performance of the resulting material composites remains unsatisfactory. In this work, we propose a new strategy: application of natural scaffoldings perfected by evolution. In this context, we study two bio-inspired networks for two specific optoelectronic applications. The first network, intended for solar cells, light sources and similar devices, has a quasi-fractal structure and is derived directly from a chemically extracted leaf venation system. The second network is intended for touch screens and flexible displays, and is obtained by metalizing a spider’s silk web. We demonstrate that each of these networks attain an exceptional optoelectonic and mechanical performance for its intended purpose, providing a promising direction in the development of more efficient optoelectronic devices.

  15. Tough, bio-inspired hybrid materials

    SciTech Connect

    Munch, Etienne; Launey, Maximimilan E.; Alsem, Daan H.; Saiz, Eduardo; Tomsia, Antoni P.; Ritchie, Robert O.

    2008-10-06

    The notion of mimicking natural structures in the synthesis of new structural materials has generated enormous interest but has yielded few practical advances. Natural composites achieve strength and toughness through complex hierarchical designs extremely difficult to replicate synthetically. Here we emulate Nature's toughening mechanisms through the combination of two ordinary compounds, aluminum oxide and polymethylmethacrylate, into ice-templated structures whose toughness can be over 300 times (in energy terms) that of their constituents. The final product is a bulk hybrid ceramic material whose high yield strength and fracture toughness ({approx}200 MPa and {approx}30 MPa{radical}m) provide specific properties comparable to aluminum alloys. These model materials can be used to identify the key microstructural features that should guide the synthesis of bio-inspired ceramic-based composites with unique strength and toughness.

  16. Aurelia aurita bio-inspired tilt sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Colin; Villanueva, Alex; Priya, Shashank

    2012-10-01

    The quickly expanding field of mobile robots, unmanned underwater vehicles, and micro-air vehicles urgently needs a cheap and effective means for measuring vehicle inclination. Commonly, tilt or inclination has been mathematically derived from accelerometers; however, there is inherent error in any indirect measurement. This paper reports a bio-inspired tilt sensor that mimics the natural balance organ of jellyfish, called the ‘statocyst’. Biological statocysts from the species Aurelia aurita were characterized by scanning electron microscopy to investigate the morphology and size of the natural sensor. An artificial tilt sensor was then developed by using printed electronics that incorporates a novel voltage divider concept in conjunction with small surface mount devices. This sensor was found to have minimum sensitivity of 4.21° with a standard deviation of 1.77°. These results open the possibility of developing elegant tilt sensor architecture for both air and water based platforms.

  17. Bio-inspired odor-based navigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Maynard J., III; Vasquez, Juan R.

    2006-05-01

    The ability of many insects, especially moths, to locate either food or a member of the opposite sex is an amazing achievement. There are numerous scenarios where having this ability embedded into ground-based or aerial vehicles would be invaluable. This paper presents results from a 3-D computer simulation of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) autonomously tracking a chemical plume to its source. The simulation study includes a simulated dynamic chemical plume, 6-degree of freedom, nonlinear aircraft model, and a bio-inspired navigation algorithm. The emphasis of this paper is the development and analysis of the navigation algorithm. The foundation of this algorithm is a fuzzy controller designed to categorize where in the plume the aircraft is located: coming into the plume, in the plume, exiting the plume, or out of the plume.

  18. Bio-Inspired Solar Energy Conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warncke, Kurt

    2009-11-01

    The areas of solar-powered catalysts for energy rich fuels formation and bio-inspired molecular assemblies for integrating photon-to-fuels pathways have been identified by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the U. S. Department of Energy as challenges for the next generation of sustainable, high-efficiency solar energy conversion systems [1]. The light-harvesting, energy-transducing and carbon compound-synthesizing (carbon dioxide-fixing) reactions that are encompassed by natural photosynthesis offer molecular paradigms for efficient free energy capture and storage. We seek to emulate these features in cell-free, protein-based systems. Our goal is to transform the robust (alpha,beta)8-barrel fold of an enzyme that naturally catalyzes radical reactions into a catalytic module for the reduction of carbon dioxide to formate, by using the cobalt-containing cobalamins and other organocobalt centers. The activation of the catalytic center will be driven by photo-reduction, by using soluble and attached organic or semiconductor architectures. Progress on the biochemical, chemical, physical, and molecular biological (including rational design of high binding affinity and reactivity towards carbon dioxide) approaches to the development of the photocatalytic system will be presented.[4pt] [1] Lewis, N.; Crabtree, G. In: Basic Research Needs for Solar Energy Utilization, Basic Energy Sciences Workshop on Solar Energy Utilization, Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science: 2005.

  19. Bio-Inspired Self-Cleaning Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Kesong; Jiang, Lei

    2012-08-01

    Self-cleaning surfaces have drawn a lot of interest for both fundamental research and practical applications. This review focuses on the recent progress in mechanism, preparation, and application of self-cleaning surfaces. To date, self-cleaning has been demonstrated by the following four conceptual approaches: (a) TiO2-based superhydrophilic self-cleaning, (b) lotus effect self-cleaning (superhydrophobicity with a small sliding angle), (c) gecko setae-inspired self-cleaning, and (d) underwater organisms-inspired antifouling self-cleaning. Although a number of self-cleaning products have been commercialized, the remaining challenges and future outlook of self-cleaning surfaces are also briefly addressed. Through evolution, nature, which has long been a source of inspiration for scientists and engineers, has arrived at what is optimal. We hope this review will stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration among material science, chemistry, biology, physics, nanoscience, engineering, etc., which is essential for the rational design and reproducible construction of bio-inspired multifunctional self-cleaning surfaces in practical applications.

  20. Bio-inspired Fillers for Mechanical Enhancement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korley, Lashanda

    2012-02-01

    An examination of natural materials has offered a new perspective on the development of multi-functional materials with enhanced mechanical properties. One important lesson from nature is the utilization of composite structures to impart improved mechanical behavior and enhanced functionality using nanofillers. A relatively unexplored expansion of this bio-inspired, nanoscale filler approach to high performance materials is the incorporation of responsive, multi-functional reinforcing elements in polymeric composites with the goal of combining superior mechanical behavior that can be tuned with additional functionality, such as sensing and bioactivity. One approach is the use of self-assembling small molecules that form uniform, one-dimensional nanostructures as an emerging class of filler components. Another pathway toward mechanical enhancement is the incorporation of stimuli-responsive and high-modulus electrospun nanofibers. We have probed the utilization of high-aspect ratio, self-assembled small molecules and responsive electrospun nanofibers as all-organic nanofillers to achieve significant modulus changes within elastomeric matrices. The influence of matrix-filler interactions and the role of hierarchical organization in these nature-inspired composites will be discussed. Potential applications in barrier technology and drug delivery have also been explored.

  1. Catalytic applications of bio-inspired nanomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pacardo, Dennis Kien Balaong

    The biomimetic synthesis of Pd nanoparticles was presented using the Pd4 peptide, TSNAVHPTLRHL, isolated from combinatorial phage display library. Using this approach, nearly monodisperse and spherical Pd nanoparticles were generated with an average diameter of 1.9 +/- 0.4 nm. The peptide-based nanocatalyst were employed in the Stille coupling reaction under energy-efficient and environmentally friendly reaction conditions of aqueous solvent, room temperature and very low catalyst loading. To this end, the Pd nanocatalyst generated high turnover frequency (TOF) value and quantitative yields using ≥ 0.005 mol% Pd as well as catalytic activities with different aryl halides containing electron-withdrawing and electron-donating groups. The Pd4-capped Pd nanoparticles followed the atom-leaching mechanism and were found to be selective with respect to substrate identity. On the other hand, the naturally-occurring R5 peptide (SSKKSGSYSGSKGSKRRIL) was employed in the synthesis of biotemplated Pd nanomaterials which showed morphological changes as a function of Pd:peptide ratio. TOF analysis for hydrogenation of olefinic alcohols showed similar catalytic activity regardless of nanomorphology. Determination of catalytic properties of these bio-inspired nanomaterials are important as they serve as model system for alternative green catalyst with applications in industrially important transformations.

  2. Investigating the relationship between planform and performance in bio-inspired aquatic propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badaoui, Oliver J.; Quinn, Daniel B.; Dewey, Peter A.; Smits, Alexander J.

    2013-11-01

    Experiments are conducted to investigate the effects of caudal fin planform shape on the hydrodynamic performance of bio-inspired aquatic propulsors. To isolate the effect of planform shape the surface area of the fins is held constant while the planform shape is systematically varied to incorporate bio-inspired designs that are consistent with those observed in nature. The self-propelled swimming speed and power consumption of heaving flexible panels of varying planform are measured in a stationary water tank. Particle image velocimetry is also employed to better understand the connection between the wake structures produced by the oscillating fins and their performance characteristics. Results are compared and analyzed in an effort to identify specific shape features that lead to a performance benefit or detriment. Supported by the Office of Naval Research under Program Director Dr. Bob Brizzolara, MURI grant number N00014-08-1-0642.

  3. A Bio-Inspired AER Temporal Tri-Color Differentiator Pixel Array.

    PubMed

    Farian, Łukasz; Leñero-Bardallo, Juan Antonio; Häfliger, Philipp

    2015-10-01

    This article investigates the potential of a bio-inspired vision sensor with pixels that detect transients between three primary colors. The in-pixel color processing is inspired by the retinal color opponency that are found in mammalian retinas. Color transitions in a pixel are represented by voltage spikes, which are akin to a neuron's action potential. These spikes are conveyed off-chip by the Address Event Representation (AER) protocol. To achieve sensitivity to three different color spectra within the visual spectrum, each pixel has three stacked photodiodes at different depths in the silicon substrate. The sensor has been fabricated in the standard TSMC 90 nm CMOS technology. A post-processing method to decode events into color transitions has been proposed and implemented as a custom interface to display real-time color changes in the visual scene. Experimental results are provided. Color transitions can be detected at high speed (up to 2.7 kHz). The sensor has a dynamic range of 58 dB and a power consumption of 22.5 mW. This type of sensor can be of use in industrial, robotics, automotive and other applications where essential information is contained in transient emissions shifts within the visual spectrum. PMID:26540694

  4. Bio-Inspired Engineering of Exploration Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thakoor, Sanita

    2003-01-01

    level of exploration mode (say, a large conventional lander/rover) in the vicinity. A widespread and affordable exploration of new/hazardous sites at lower cost and risk would thus become possible by utilizing a faster aerial flyer to cover long ranges and deploying a variety of function- specific, smaller biomorphic explorers for distributed sensing and local sample acquisition. Several conceptual biomorphic missions for planetary and terrestrial exploration applications have been illustrated in "Surface-Launched Explorers for Reconnaissance/ Scouting" (NPO-20871), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 4 (April, 2002), page 69 and "Bio-Inspired Engineering of Exploration Systems," Journal of Space Mission Architecture, Issue 2, Fall 2000, pages 49-79.

  5. Bio-inspired color sketch for eco-friendly printing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safonov, Ilia V.; Tolstaya, Ekaterina V.; Rychagov, Michael N.; Lee, Hokeun; Kim, Sang Ho; Choi, Donchul

    2012-01-01

    Saving of toner/ink consumption is an important task in modern printing devices. It has a positive ecological and social impact. We propose technique for converting print-job pictures to a recognizable and pleasant color sketches. Drawing a "pencil sketch" from a photo relates to a special area in image processing and computer graphics - non-photorealistic rendering. We describe a new approach for automatic sketch generation which allows to create well-recognizable sketches and to preserve partly colors of the initial picture. Our sketches contain significantly less color dots then initial images and this helps to save toner/ink. Our bio-inspired approach is based on sophisticated edge detection technique for a mask creation and multiplication of source image with increased contrast by this mask. To construct the mask we use DoG edge detection, which is a result of blending of initial image with its blurred copy through the alpha-channel, which is created from Saliency Map according to Pre-attentive Human Vision model. Measurement of percentage of saved toner and user study proves effectiveness of proposed technique for toner saving in eco-friendly printing mode.

  6. Bio-inspired aquatic robotics by untethered piezohydroelastic actuation.

    PubMed

    Cen, L; Erturk, A

    2013-03-01

    This paper investigates fish-like aquatic robotics using flexible bimorphs made of macro-fiber composite (MFC) piezoelectric laminates for carangiform locomotion. In addition to noiseless and efficient actuation over a range of frequencies, geometric scalability, and simple design, bimorph propulsors made of MFCs offer a balance between the actuation force and velocity response for performance enhancement in bio-inspired swimming. The experimental component of the presented work focuses on the characterization of an elastically constrained MFC bimorph propulsor for thrust generation in quiescent water as well as the development of a robotic fish prototype combining a microcontroller and a printed-circuit-board amplifier to generate high actuation voltage for untethered locomotion. From the theoretical standpoint, a distributed-parameter electroelastic model including the hydrodynamic effects and actuator dynamics is coupled with the elongated-body theory for predicting the mean thrust in quiescent water. In-air and underwater experiments are performed to verify the incorporation of hydrodynamic effects in the linear actuation regime. For electroelastically nonlinear actuation levels, experimentally obtained underwater vibration response is coupled with the elongated-body theory to predict the thrust output. The measured mean thrust levels in quiescent water (on the order of ∼10 mN) compare favorably with thrust levels of biological fish. An untethered robotic fish prototype that employs a single bimorph fin (caudal fin) for straight swimming and turning motions is developed and tested in free locomotion. A swimming speed of 0.3 body-length/second (7.5 cm s⁻¹ swimming speed for 24.3 cm body length) is achieved at 5 Hz for a non-optimized main body-propulsor bimorph combination under a moderate actuation voltage level. PMID:23348365

  7. Bio-inspired supramolecular self-assembly towards soft nanomaterials

    PubMed Central

    LIN, Yiyang; MAO, Chuanbin

    2011-01-01

    Supramolecular self-assembly has proven to be a reliable approach towards versatile nanomaterials based on multiple weak intermolecular forces. In this review, the development of bio-inspired supramolecular self-assembly into soft materials and their applications are summarized. Molecular systems used in bio-inspired “bottom-up self-assembly” involve small organic molecules, peptides or proteins, nucleic acids, and viruses. Self-assembled soft nanomaterials have been exploited in various applications such as inorganic nanomaterial synthesis, drug or gene delivery, tissue engineering, and so on. PMID:21980594

  8. Optic flow estimation on trajectories generated by bio-inspired closed-loop flight.

    PubMed

    Shoemaker, Patrick A; Hyslop, Andrew M; Humbert, J Sean

    2011-05-01

    We generated panoramic imagery by simulating a fly-like robot carrying an imaging sensor, moving in free flight through a virtual arena bounded by walls, and containing obstructions. Flight was conducted under closed-loop control by a bio-inspired algorithm for visual guidance with feedback signals corresponding to the true optic flow that would be induced on an imager (computed by known kinematics and position of the robot relative to the environment). The robot had dynamics representative of a housefly-sized organism, although simplified to two-degree-of-freedom flight to generate uniaxial (azimuthal) optic flow on the retina in the plane of travel. Surfaces in the environment contained images of natural and man-made scenes that were captured by the moving sensor. Two bio-inspired motion detection algorithms and two computational optic flow estimation algorithms were applied to sequences of image data, and their performance as optic flow estimators was evaluated by estimating the mutual information between outputs and true optic flow in an equatorial section of the visual field. Mutual information for individual estimators at particular locations within the visual field was surprisingly low (less than 1 bit in all cases) and considerably poorer for the bio-inspired algorithms that the man-made computational algorithms. However, mutual information between weighted sums of these signals and comparable sums of the true optic flow showed significant increases for the bio-inspired algorithms, whereas such improvement did not occur for the computational algorithms. Such summation is representative of the spatial integration performed by wide-field motion-sensitive neurons in the third optic ganglia of flies. PMID:21626306

  9. Principle of bio-inspired insect wing rotational hinge design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fei, Fan

    A principle for designing and fabricating bio-inspired miniature artificial insect flapping wing using flexure rotational hinge design is presented. A systematic approach of selecting rotational hinge stiffness value is proposed. Based on the understanding of flapping wing aerodynamics, a dynamic simulation is constructed using the established quasi-steady model and the wing design. Simulations were performed to gain insight on how different parameters affect the wing rotational response. Based on system resonance a model to predict the optimal rotational hinge stiffness based on given wing parameter and flapping wing kinematic is proposed. By varying different wing parameters, the proposed method is shown to be applicable to a wide range of wing designs with different sizes and shapes. With the selected hinge stiffness value, aspects of the rotational joint design is discussed and an integrated wing-hinge structure design using laminated carbon fiber and polymer film is presented. Manufacturing process of such composite structure is developed to achieve high accuracy and repeatability. The yielded hinge stiffness is verified by measurements. To validate the proposed model, flapping wing experiments were conducted. A flapping actuation set up is built using DC motor and a controller is implemented on a microcontroller to track desired wing stroke kinematic. Wing stroke and rotation kinematic were extracted using a high speed camera and the lift generation is evaluated. A total of 49 flapping experiments were presented, experimental data shows good correlation with the model's prediction. With the wing rotational hinge stiffness designed so that the rotational resonant frequency is twice as the stroke frequency, the resulting wing rotation generates near optimal lift. With further simulation, the proposed model shows low sensitivity to wing parameter variation. As a result, giving a design parameter of a flapping wing robot platform, the proposed principle can

  10. Bio-inspired Hierarchical Nanowebs for Green Catalysis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kyoung G; Lee, Subeom; Chang, Sung-Jin; Choi, Bong Gill; Seo, Jeongeun; Sangalang, Arvin; Kim, Do Hyun; Park, Tae Jung; Lee, Moon-Keun; Lee, Seok Jae; Lee, Haiwon

    2015-09-01

    Bio-inspired 3D hierarchical nanowebs are fabricated using silicon micropillars, carbon nanotubes (CNT), and manganese oxide. The Si pillars act as artificial branches for growing CNTs and the secondary metal coating strengthens the structures. The simple but effective structure provides both chemical and mechanical stability to be used as a green catalyst for recycling waste polymers into raw materials. PMID:26060049

  11. Energy evaluation of a bio-inspired gait modulation method for quadrupedal locomotion.

    PubMed

    Fukuoka, Yasuhiro; Fukino, Kota; Habu, Yasushi; Mori, Yoshikazu

    2015-08-01

    We have proposed a bio-inspired gait modulation method, by means of which a simulated quadruped model can successfully perform smooth, autonomous gait transitions from a walk to a trot to a gallop, as observed in animals. The model is equipped with a rhythm generator called a central pattern generator (CPG) for each leg. The lateral neighbouring CPGs are mutually and inhibitorily coupled, and the CPG network is hardwired to produce a trot. Adding only the simple feedback of body tilt to each CPG, which was based on input from the postural reflex, led to the emergence of un-programmed walking and galloping at low and high speeds, respectively. Although this autonomous gait transition was a consequence of postural adaptation, it coincidentally also resulted in the minimization of energy consumption, as observed in real animals. In simulations at a variety of constant speeds the energy cost was lower for walking at low speeds and for galloping at high speeds than it was for trotting. Moreover, each gait transition occurred at the optimal speed, such that the model minimised its energy consumption. Thus, gait transitions in simulations that included the bio-inspired gait modulation method were similar to those observed in animals, even from the perspective of energy consumption. This method should therefore be a preferred choice for motion generation and control in biomimetic quadrupedal locomotion. PMID:26241690

  12. Bio-inspired design of dental multilayers: experiments and model.

    PubMed

    Niu, Xinrui; Rahbar, Nima; Farias, Stephen; Soboyejo, Wole

    2009-12-01

    This paper combines experiments, simulations and analytical modeling that are inspired by the stress reductions associated with the functionally graded structures of the dentin-enamel-junctions (DEJs) in natural teeth. Unlike conventional crown structures in which ceramic crowns are bonded to the bottom layer with an adhesive layer, real teeth do not have a distinct "adhesive layer" between the enamel and the dentin layers. Instead, there is a graded transition from enamel to dentin within a approximately 10 to 100 microm thick regime that is called the Dentin Enamel Junction (DEJ). In this paper, a micro-scale, bio-inspired functionally graded structure is used to bond the top ceramic layer (zirconia) to a dentin-like ceramic-filled polymer substrate. The bio-inspired functionally graded material (FGM) is shown to exhibit higher critical loads over a wide range of loading rates. The measured critical loads are predicted using a rate dependent slow crack growth (RDEASCG) model. The implications of the results are then discussed for the design of bio-inspired dental multilayers. PMID:19716103

  13. Vibration isolation by exploring bio-inspired structural nonlinearity.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhijing; Jing, Xingjian; Bian, Jing; Li, Fengming; Allen, Robert

    2015-10-01

    Inspired by the limb structures of animals/insects in motion vibration control, a bio-inspired limb-like structure (LLS) is systematically studied for understanding and exploring its advantageous nonlinear function in passive vibration isolation. The bio-inspired system consists of asymmetric articulations (of different rod lengths) with inside vertical and horizontal springs (as animal muscle) of different linear stiffness. Mathematical modeling and analysis of the proposed LLS reveal that, (a) the system has very beneficial nonlinear stiffness which can provide flexible quasi-zero, zero and/or negative stiffness, and these nonlinear stiffness properties are adjustable or designable with structure parameters; (b) the asymmetric rod-length ratio and spring-stiffness ratio present very beneficial factors for tuning system equivalent stiffness; (c) the system loading capacity is also adjustable with the structure parameters which presents another flexible benefit in application. Experiments and comparisons with existing quasi-zero-stiffness isolators validate the advantageous features above, and some discussions are also given about how to select structural parameters for practical applications. The results would provide an innovative bio-inspired solution to passive vibration control in various engineering practice. PMID:26448392

  14. Bio-inspired UAV routing, source localization, and acoustic signature classification for persistent surveillance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burman, Jerry; Hespanha, Joao; Madhow, Upamanyu; Pham, Tien

    2011-06-01

    A team consisting of Teledyne Scientific Company, the University of California at Santa Barbara and the Army Research Laboratory* is developing technologies in support of automated data exfiltration from heterogeneous battlefield sensor networks to enhance situational awareness for dismounts and command echelons. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) provide an effective means to autonomously collect data from a sparse network of unattended ground sensors (UGSs) that cannot communicate with each other. UAVs are used to reduce the system reaction time by generating autonomous collection routes that are data-driven. Bio-inspired techniques for search provide a novel strategy to detect, capture and fuse data. A fast and accurate method has been developed to localize an event by fusing data from a sparse number of UGSs. This technique uses a bio-inspired algorithm based on chemotaxis or the motion of bacteria seeking nutrients in their environment. A unique acoustic event classification algorithm was also developed based on using swarm optimization. Additional studies addressed the problem of routing multiple UAVs, optimally placing sensors in the field and locating the source of gunfire at helicopters. A field test was conducted in November of 2009 at Camp Roberts, CA. The field test results showed that a system controlled by bio-inspired software algorithms can autonomously detect and locate the source of an acoustic event with very high accuracy and visually verify the event. In nine independent test runs of a UAV, the system autonomously located the position of an explosion nine times with an average accuracy of 3 meters. The time required to perform source localization using the UAV was on the order of a few minutes based on UAV flight times. In June 2011, additional field tests of the system will be performed and will include multiple acoustic events, optimal sensor placement based on acoustic phenomenology and the use of the International Technology Alliance (ITA

  15. Analytical development of a binuclear oxo-manganese complex bio-inspired on oxidase enzyme for doping control analysis of acetazolamide.

    PubMed

    Machini, Wesley B S; Teixeira, Marcos F S

    2016-05-15

    A bio-inspired electrochemical sensor using a binuclear oxo-manganese complex was evaluated and applied in the detection of a substance associated with doping in sports: acetazolamide (ACTZ). Investigation was made of the influence of different experimental variables on the electrocatalytic oxidation of ACTZ by the bio-inspired sensor, such as pH and interfering species. The bio-inspired sensor showed the best response in the range from 5.00×10(-9) to 7.00×10(-8) mol L(-1) ACTZ, with a linear range from 5.00×10(-9) to 2.50×10(-8) mol L(-1) and a detection limit of 4.76×10(-9) mol L(-1). The sensor exhibited characteristics similar to the Michaelis-Menten model of an enzymatic electrode, due to the use of a multinucleated complex of manganese with μ-oxo units, which was able to mimic the properties of enzymes with manganese as a cofactor in their composition, such as Mn-containing oxidase. The determination of ACTZ with the bio-inspired sensor was evaluated using three different synthetic biological fluids (plasma, saliva, and urine), demonstrating its viability for use with real samples. The analysis of ACTZ in real urine samples using the bio-inspired sensor, simulating the method adopted by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which revealed viable, suggesting a new and promising platform to be used in these analysis. PMID:26745790

  16. Bio-Inspired Micromechanical Directional Acoustic Sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swan, William; Alves, Fabio; Karunasiri, Gamani

    Conventional directional sound sensors employ an array of spatially separated microphones and the direction is determined using arrival times and amplitudes. In nature, insects such as the Ormia ochracea fly can determine the direction of sound using a hearing organ much smaller than the wavelength of sound it detects. The fly's eardrums are mechanically coupled, only separated by about 1 mm, and have remarkable directional sensitivity. A micromechanical sensor based on the fly's hearing system was designed and fabricated on a silicon on insulator (SOI) substrate using MEMS technology. The sensor consists of two 1 mm2 wings connected using a bridge and to the substrate using two torsional legs. The dimensions of the sensor and material stiffness determine the frequency response of the sensor. The vibration of the wings in response to incident sound at the bending resonance was measured using a laser vibrometer and found to be about 1 μm/Pa. The electronic response of the sensor to sound was measured using integrated comb finger capacitors and found to be about 25 V/Pa. The fabricated sensors showed good directional sensitivity. In this talk, the design, fabrication and characteristics of the directional sound sensor will be described. Supported by ONR and TDSI.

  17. Complex biological and bio-inspired systems

    SciTech Connect

    Ecke, Robert E

    2009-01-01

    The understanding and characterization ofthe fundamental processes of the function of biological systems underpins many of the important challenges facing American society, from the pathology of infectious disease and the efficacy ofvaccines, to the development of materials that mimic biological functionality and deliver exceptional and novel structural and dynamic properties. These problems are fundamentally complex, involving many interacting components and poorly understood bio-chemical kinetics. We use the basic science of statistical physics, kinetic theory, cellular bio-chemistry, soft-matter physics, and information science to develop cell level models and explore the use ofbiomimetic materials. This project seeks to determine how cell level processes, such as response to mechanical stresses, chemical constituents and related gradients, and other cell signaling mechanisms, integrate and combine to create a functioning organism. The research focuses on the basic physical processes that take place at different levels ofthe biological organism: the basic role of molecular and chemical interactions are investigated, the dynamics of the DNA-molecule and its phylogenetic role are examined and the regulatory networks of complex biochemical processes are modeled. These efforts may lead to early warning algorithms ofpathogen outbreaks, new bio-sensors to detect hazards from pathomic viruses to chemical contaminants. Other potential applications include the development of efficient bio-fuel alternative-energy processes and the exploration ofnovel materials for energy usages. Finally, we use the notion of 'coarse-graining,' which is a method for averaging over less important degrees of freedom to develop computational models to predict cell function and systems-level response to disease, chemical stress, or biological pathomic agents. This project supports Energy Security, Threat Reduction, and the missions of the DOE Office of Science through its efforts to accurately

  18. Bio-inspired method and system for actionable intelligence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khosla, Deepak; Chelian, Suhas E.

    2009-05-01

    This paper describes a bio-inspired VISion based actionable INTelligence system (VISINT) that provides automated capabilities to (1) understand objects, patterns, events and behaviors in vision data; (2) translate this understanding into timely recognition of novel and anomalous entities; and (3) discover underlying hierarchies and relationships between disparate labels entered by multiple users to provide a consistent data representation. VISINT is both a system and a novel collection of novel bio-inspired algorithms/modules. These modules can be used independently for various aspects of the actionable intelligence problem or sequenced together for an end-to-end actionable intelligence system. The algorithms can be useful in many other applications such as scene understanding, behavioral analysis, automatic surveillance systems, etc. The bio-inspired algorithms are a novel combination of hierarchical spatial and temporal networks based on the Adaptive Resonance Theory (ART). The novel aspects of this work are that it is an end-to-end system for actionable intelligence that combines existing and novel implementations of various modules in innovative ways to develop a system concept for actionable intelligence. Although there are other algorithms/implementations of several of the modules in VISINT, they suffer from various limitations and often system integration is not considered. The overall VISINT system can be viewed an incremental learning system where no offline training is required and data from multiple sources and times can be seamlessly integrated. The user is in the loop, but due to the semi-supervised nature of the underlying algorithms, only significant variations of entities, not all false alarms, are shown to the user. It does not forget the past even with new learning. While VISINT is designed as a vision-based system, it could also work with other kinds of sensor data that can recognize and locate individual objects in the scene. Beyond that stage

  19. Wetting-controlled strategies: from theories to bio-inspiration.

    PubMed

    Song, Cheng; Zheng, Yongmei

    2014-08-01

    Creatures have evolved the unique wetting-controlled strategies on their surfaces to collect water for the sake of survival, such as Beetle back, spider silk and plant leaf as well, which inspires us to open the area of novel researches. In this feature article, we review the theoretical basis of wetting-controlling regarding of wettability and highlight the biological wetting-controlled strategies in water transport, and water collection, and also introduce some bio-inspired materials with water collection properties. It is significant to design the novel materials that would be used in the fields of responsive, smart catalysis, filtration and sensing besides water collection. PMID:24290249

  20. Bio-inspired solid phase extraction sorbent material for cocaine: a cross reactivity study.

    PubMed

    Montesano, Camilla; Sergi, Manuel; Perez, German; Curini, Roberta; Compagnone, Dario; Mascini, Marcello

    2014-12-01

    The binding specificity of a bio-inspired hexapeptide (QHWWDW) versus cocaine and four other drugs such as 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA), 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDEA), phencyclidine and morphine was computationally studied and then experimentally confirmed in solid phase extraction (SPE) followed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS) detection. In simulation, the hexapeptide-drug complexes were docked with different scoring functions and considering pH chemical environment. In experimental, the cross reactivity of the selected hexapeptide was tested as SPE sorbent versus cocaine and other four drugs using buffer solutions at pH 4 and 7. Significant differences in specific retention were found between cocaine (97% of recovery) and both morphine (45% of recovery) and phencyclidine (60% of recovery), but less for ecstasies (average recovery 69%). In agreement with docking simulation, the hexapeptide showed the highest recovery with best specificity versus cocaine at pH 7 with an experimentally binding constant of 2.9 × 10(6)M(-1). The bio-inspired sorbent material analytical performances were compared with a commercial reversed phase cartridge confirming the hexapeptide specificity to cocaine and validating simulated data. PMID:25159425

  1. Bio-inspired strategies for anti-icing.

    PubMed

    Lv, Jianyong; Song, Yanlin; Jiang, Lei; Wang, Jianjun

    2014-04-22

    Undesired ice accumulation leads to severe economic issues and, in some cases, loss of lives. Although research on anti-icing has been carried out for decades, environmentally harmless, economical, and efficient strategies for anti-icing remain to be developed. Recent researches have provided new insights into the icing phenomenon and shed light on some promising bio-inspired anti-icing strategies. The present review critically categorizes and discusses recent developments. Effectively trapping air in surface textures of superhydrophobic surfaces weakens the interaction of the surfaces with liquid water, which enables timely removal of impacting and condensed water droplets before freezing occurs. When ice already forms, ice adhesion can be significantly reduced if liquid is trapped in surface textures as a lubricating layer. As such, ice could be shed off by an action of wind or its gravity. In addition, bio-inspired anti-icing strategies via trapping or introducing other media, such as phase change materials and antifreeze proteins, are discussed. PMID:24592934

  2. Bio-Inspired Cyber Security for Smart Grid Deployments

    SciTech Connect

    McKinnon, Archibald D.; Thompson, Seth R.; Doroshchuk, Ruslan A.; Fink, Glenn A.; Fulp, Errin W.

    2013-05-01

    mart grid technologies are transforming the electric power grid into a grid with bi-directional flows of both power and information. Operating millions of new smart meters and smart appliances will significantly impact electric distribution systems resulting in greater efficiency. However, the scale of the grid and the new types of information transmitted will potentially introduce several security risks that cannot be addressed by traditional, centralized security techniques. We propose a new bio-inspired cyber security approach. Social insects, such as ants and bees, have developed complex-adaptive systems that emerge from the collective application of simple, light-weight behaviors. The Digital Ants framework is a bio-inspired framework that uses mobile light-weight agents. Sensors within the framework use digital pheromones to communicate with each other and to alert each other of possible cyber security issues. All communication and coordination is both localized and decentralized thereby allowing the framework to scale across the large numbers of devices that will exist in the smart grid. Furthermore, the sensors are light-weight and therefore suitable for implementation on devices with limited computational resources. This paper will provide a brief overview of the Digital Ants framework and then present results from test bed-based demonstrations that show that Digital Ants can identify a cyber attack scenario against smart meter deployments.

  3. Effects of flexibility on bio-inspired aquatic propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dewey, Peter; Boschitsch, Birgitt; Smits, Alexander

    2012-11-01

    We present the results of an experimental investigation aimed at understanding the role that flexibility plays in bio-inspired aquatic propulsion. A rectangular pitching panel apparatus, where both the flexibility and aspect ratio can be systematically varied, is utilized as a simplified model for bio-inspired propulsion in water at a Reynolds number of 7200. It is found that, when optimized, flexibility can double the thrust produced and propulsive efficiency achieved in comparison to a rigid panel. There is a notable thrust enhancement when the flexible panels are operating near resonance; however, it is found that resonance is not the primary mechanism governing efficient propulsion. Peaks in propulsive efficiency are found below, at, and above the resonant frequency depending on the flexibility of the panel. Finally, a scaling law is derived that is shown to collapse the thrust production, power consumption, and propulsive efficiency data across all panels examined. The authors would like to acknowledge the generous support from the Office of Naval Research under Program Director Dr. Bob Brizzolara, MURI grant number N00014-08-1-0642.

  4. Cytocompatibility of bio-inspired silicon carbide ceramics.

    PubMed

    López-Alvarez, M; de Carlos, A; González, P; Serra, J; León, B

    2010-10-01

    Due to its good mechanical and biochemical properties and, also, because of its unique interconnected porosity, bio-inspired silicon carbide (bioSiC) can be considered as a promising material for biomedical applications, including controlled drug delivery devices and tissue engineering scaffolds. This innovative material is produced by molten-Si infiltration of carbon templates, obtained by controlled pyrolysis of vegetable precursors. The final SiC ceramic presents a porous-interconnected microstructure that mimics the natural hierarchical structure of bone tissue and allows the internal growth of tissue, as well as favors angiogenesis. In the present work, the in vitro cytocompatibility of the bio-inspired SiC ceramics obtained, in this case, from the tree sapelli (Entandrophragma cylindricum) was evaluated. The attachment, spreading, cytoskeleton organization, proliferation, and mineralization of the preosteoblastic cell line MC3T3-E1 were analyzed for up to 28 days of incubation by scanning electron microscopy, interferometric profilometry, confocal laser scanning microscopy, MTT assay, as well as red alizarin staining and quantification. Cells seeded onto these ceramics were able to attach, spread, and proliferate properly with the maintenance of the typical preosteoblastic morphology throughout the time of culture. A certain level of mineralization on the surface of the sapelli-based SiC ceramics is observed. These results demonstrated the cytocompatibility of this porous and hierarchical material. PMID:20737554

  5. Bio-inspired antireflective hetero-nanojunctions with enhanced photoactivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Dianpeng; Zheng, Liyan; Cao, Xuebo; Jiang, Yueyue; Xu, Hongbo; Zhang, Yanyan; Yang, Bingjie; Sun, Yinghui; Hng, Huey Hoon; Lu, Nan; Chi, Lifeng; Chen, Xiaodong

    2013-11-01

    A bio-inspired antireflective hetero-nanojunction structure has been fabricated by the hydrothermal growth of ZnO nanorods on silicon micro-pyramids. It has been shown that this structure suppresses light reflection more effectively resulting in a high photocurrent response and good charge separation simultaneously. The strategy provides a means to enhance solar energy conversion.A bio-inspired antireflective hetero-nanojunction structure has been fabricated by the hydrothermal growth of ZnO nanorods on silicon micro-pyramids. It has been shown that this structure suppresses light reflection more effectively resulting in a high photocurrent response and good charge separation simultaneously. The strategy provides a means to enhance solar energy conversion. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: HRTEM image and XRD pattern of a ZnO nanorod; schematic representation of the photoanode behavior, as well as the concentration change of rhodamine 6G through the photodegradation process over many repeats. See DOI: 10.1039/c3nr04011a

  6. Introducing Students to Bio-Inspiration and Biomimetic Design: A Workshop Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Santulli, Carlo; Langella, Carla

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, bio-inspired approach to design has gained considerable interest between designers, engineers and end-users. However, there are difficulties in introducing bio-inspiration concepts in the university curriculum in that they involve multi-disciplinary work, which can only possibly be successfully delivered by a team with integrated…

  7. Bio-inspired polarized skylight navigation: a review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xi; Wan, Yongqin; Li, Lijing

    2015-12-01

    The idea of using skylight polarization in navigation is learned from animals such as desert ants and honeybees. Various research groups have been working on the development of novel navigation systems inspired by polarized skylight. The research of background in polarized skylight navigation is introduced, and basic principle of the insects navigation is expatiated. Then, the research progress status at home and abroad in skylight polarization pattern, three bio-inspired polarized skylight navigation sensors and polarized skylight navigation are reviewed. Finally, the research focuses in the field of polarized skylight navigation are analyzed. At the same time, the trend of development and prospect in the future are predicted. It is believed that the review is helpful to people understand polarized skylight navigation and polarized skylight navigation sensors.

  8. Bio-inspired artificial iriodphores based on capillary origami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manakasettharn, Supone; Taylor, J. Ashley; Krupenkin, Tom

    2011-03-01

    Many marine organisms have evolved complex optical mechanisms of dynamic skin color control that allow them to drastically change their visual appearance. In particular, cephalopods have developed especially effective dynamic color control mechanism based on the mechanical actuation of the micro-scale optical structures, which produce either variable degrees of area coverage by a given color (chromatophores) or variations in spatial orientation of the reflective and diffractive surfaces (iridophores). In this work we describe bio-inspired artificial iridophores based on electrowetting-controlled capillary origami. We describe the developed microfabrication approach, characterize mechanical and optical properties of the obtained microstructures and discuss their electrowetting-based actuation. The obtained experimental results are in good agreement with a simple theoretical model based on electrocapillarity and elasticity theory. The results of the work can enable a broad range of novel optical devices.

  9. Wireless synapses in bio-inspired neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jannson, Tomasz; Forrester, Thomas; Degrood, Kevin

    2009-05-01

    Wireless (virtual) synapses represent a novel approach to bio-inspired neural networks that follow the infrastructure of the biological brain, except that biological (physical) synapses are replaced by virtual ones based on cellular telephony modeling. Such synapses are of two types: intracluster synapses are based on IR wireless ones, while intercluster synapses are based on RF wireless ones. Such synapses have three unique features, atypical of conventional artificial ones: very high parallelism (close to that of the human brain), very high reconfigurability (easy to kill and to create), and very high plasticity (easy to modify or upgrade). In this paper we analyze the general concept of wireless synapses with special emphasis on RF wireless synapses. Also, biological mammalian (vertebrate) neural models are discussed for comparison, and a novel neural lensing effect is discussed in detail.

  10. Flow over bio-inspired 3D herringbone wall riblets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Huawei; Rao, Fugang; Shang, Xiaopeng; Zhang, Deyuan; Hagiwara, Ichiro

    2014-03-01

    Under the inspiration of small riblets of shark skin, the microgroove drag reduction riblets whose direction set along fluid flow have been widely investigated. Herringbone-type riblets of bird flight feather are seldom exploited although bird also has excellent flight performance. Inspired from the flight feather, novel bio-inspired plane-3D (p-3D) and spatial-3D (s-3D) herringbone wall riblets are proposed. Through experiment measurement of drag reduction in water tunnel, maximum drag reduction of p-3D and s-3D herringbone riblets was about 17 and 20 %, higher than traditional microgroove riblets. Moreover, significant change of drag reduction was also found by change of the angle between herringbone riblets. In particular, maximum drag reduction occurred as angle between herringbone riblets was about 60° close to real flight feather, which indicates that microstructure of bird flight feather has great impact on flight performance.

  11. Development of a bio-inspired transformable robotic fin.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yikun; Xia, Yu; Qin, Fenghua; Xu, Min; Li, Weihua; Zhang, Shiwu

    2016-01-01

    Fish swim by oscillating their pectoral fins forwards and backwards in a cyclic motion such that their geometric parameters and aspect ratios change according to how fast or slow a fish wants to swim; these complex motions result in a complicated hydrodynamic response. This paper focuses on the dynamic change in the shape of a fin to improve the underwater propulsion of bio-inspired mechanism. To do this, a novel transformable robotic fin has been developed to investigate how this change in shape affects the hydrodynamic forces acting on the fin. This robotic fin has a multi-link frame and a flexible surface skin where changes in shape are activated by a purpose designed multi-link mechanism driven by a transformation motor. A drag platform has been designed to study the performance of this variable robotic fin. Numerous experiments were carried out to determine how various controlling modes affect the thrust capability of this fin. The kinematic parameters associated with this robotic fin include the oscillating frequency and amplitude, and the drag velocity. The fin has four modes to control the cyclic motion; these were also investigated in combination with the variable kinematic parameters. The results will help us understand the locomotion performance of this transformable robotic fin. Note that different controlling modes influence the propulsive performance of this robotic fin, which means its propulsive performance can be optimized in a changing environment by adapting its shape. This study facilitates the development of bio-inspired unmanned underwater vehicles with a very high swimming performance. PMID:27580003

  12. An Approach of Bio-inspired Hybrid Model for Financial Markets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simić, Dragan; Gajić, Vladeta; Simić, Svetlana

    Biological systems are inspiration for the design of optimisation and classification models. Applying various forms of bio-inspired algorithms may be a very high-complex system. Modelling of financial markets is challenging for several reasons, because many plausible factors impact on it. An automated trading on financial market is not a new phenomenon. The model of bio-inspired hybrid adaptive trading system based on technical indicators usage by grammatical evolution and moving window is presented in this paper. The proposed system is just one of possible bio-inspired system which can be used in financial forecast, corporate failure prediction or bond rating company.

  13. Bio-inspired routes for synthesizing efficient nanoscale platinum electrocatalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Cha, Jennifer N.; Wang, Joseph

    2014-08-31

    The overall objective of the proposed research is to use fundamental advances in bionanotechnology to design powerful platinum nanocrystal electrocatalysts for fuel cell applications. The new economically-viable, environmentally-friendly, bottom-up biochemical synthetic strategy will produce platinum nanocrystals with tailored size, shape and crystal orientation, hence leading to a maximum electrochemical reactivity. There are five specific aims to the proposed bio-inspired strategy for synthesizing efficient electrocatalytic platinum nanocrystals: (1) isolate peptides that both selectively bind particular crystal faces of platinum and promote the nucleation and growth of particular nanocrystal morphologies, (2) pattern nanoscale 2-dimensional arrays of platinum nucleating peptides from DNA scaffolds, (3) investigate the combined use of substrate patterned peptides and soluble peptides on nanocrystal morphology and growth (4) synthesize platinum crystals on planar and large-area carbon electrode supports, and (5) perform detailed characterization of the electrocatalytic behavior as a function of catalyst size, shape and morphology. Project Description and Impact: This bio-inspired collaborative research effort will address key challenges in designing powerful electrocatalysts for fuel cell applications by employing nucleic acid scaffolds in combination with peptides to perform specific, environmentally-friendly, simultaneous bottom-up biochemical synthesis and patterned assembly of highly uniform and efficient platinum nanocrystal catalysts. Bulk synthesis of nanoparticles usually produces a range of sizes, accessible catalytic sites, crystal morphologies, and orientations, all of which lead to inconsistent catalytic activities. In contrast, biological systems routinely demonstrate exquisite control over inorganic syntheses at neutral pH and ambient temperature and pressures. Because the orientation and arrangement of the templating biomolecules can be precisely

  14. Copper removal using bio-inspired polydopamine coated natural zeolites.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yang; Shapter, Joseph G; Popelka-Filcoff, Rachel; Bennett, John W; Ellis, Amanda V

    2014-05-30

    Herein, for the first time, natural clinoptilolite-rich zeolite powders modified with a bio-inspired adhesive, polydopamine (PDA), have been systematically studied as an adsorbent for copper cations (Cu(II)) from aqueous solution. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) revealed successful grafting of PDA onto the zeolite surface. The effects of pH (2-5.5), PDA treatment time (3-24h), contact time (0 to 24h) and initial Cu(II) ion concentrations (1 to 500mgdm(-3)) on the adsorption of Cu(II) ions were studied using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) and neutron activation analysis (NAA). The adsorption behavior was fitted to a Langmuir isotherm and shown to follow a pseudo-second-order reaction model. The maximum adsorption capacities of Cu(II) were shown to be 14.93mgg(-1) for pristine natural zeolite and 28.58mgg(-1) for PDA treated zeolite powders. This impressive 91.4% increase in Cu(II) ion adsorption capacity is attributed to the chelating ability of the PDA on the zeolite surface. Furthermore studies of recyclability using NAA showed that over 50% of the adsorbed copper could be removed in mild concentrations (0.01M or 0.1M) of either acid or base. PMID:24731937

  15. Biomimetic and bio-inspired uses of mollusc shells.

    PubMed

    Morris, J P; Wang, Y; Backeljau, T; Chapelle, G

    2016-06-01

    Climate change and ocean acidification are likely to have a profound effect on marine molluscs, which are of great ecological and economic importance. One process particularly sensitive to climate change is the formation of biominerals in mollusc shells. Fundamental research is broadening our understanding of the biomineralization process, as well as providing more informed predictions on the effects of climate change on marine molluscs. Such studies are important in their own right, but their value also extends to applied sciences. Biominerals, organic/inorganic hybrid materials with many remarkable physical and chemical properties, have been studied for decades, and the possibilities for future improved use of such materials for society are widely recognised. This article highlights the potential use of our understanding of the shell biomineralization process in novel bio-inspired and biomimetic applications. It also highlights the potential for the valorisation of shells produced as a by-product of the aquaculture industry. Studying shells and the formation of biominerals will inspire novel functional hybrid materials. It may also provide sustainable, ecologically- and economically-viable solutions to some of the problems created by current human resource exploitation. PMID:27083864

  16. A bio-inspired memory model for structural health monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Wei; Zhu, Yong

    2009-04-01

    Long-term structural health monitoring (SHM) systems need intelligent management of the monitoring data. By analogy with the way the human brain processes memories, we present a bio-inspired memory model (BIMM) that does not require prior knowledge of the structure parameters. The model contains three time-domain areas: a sensory memory area, a short-term memory area and a long-term memory area. First, the initial parameters of the structural state are specified to establish safety criteria. Then the large amount of monitoring data that falls within the safety limits is filtered while the data outside the safety limits are captured instantly in the sensory memory area. Second, disturbance signals are distinguished from danger signals in the short-term memory area. Finally, the stable data of the structural balance state are preserved in the long-term memory area. A strategy for priority scheduling via fuzzy c-means for the proposed model is then introduced. An experiment on bridge tower deformation demonstrates that the proposed model can be applied for real-time acquisition, limited-space storage and intelligent mining of the monitoring data in a long-term SHM system.

  17. Electrowetting-controlled bio-inspired artificial iridophores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manakasettharn, Supone; Taylor, J. Ashley; Krupenkin, Tom

    2011-10-01

    Many marine organisms have evolved complex optical mechanisms of dynamic skin color control that allow them to drastically change their visual appearance. In particular, cephalopods have developed especially effective dynamic color control mechanism based on the mechanical actuation of the micro-scale optical structures, which produce either variable degrees of area coverage by a given color (chromatophores) or variations in spatial orientation of the reflective and diffractive surfaces (iridophores). In this work we describe the design, fabrication and characterization of electrowetting-controlled bio-inspired artificial iridophores. The developed iridophores geometrically resemble microflowers with flexible reflective petals. The microflowers are fabricated on a silicon substrate using surface micromachining techniques. After fabrication a small droplet of conductive liquid is deposited at the center of each microflower. This causes the flower petals to partially wrap around the droplet forming a structure similar to capillary origami. The dynamic control over the degree of wrapping is achieved by applying a voltage differential between the conductive core of the petals and the droplet. The applied voltage causes dynamic contact angle change between the droplet and each of the petals due to the electrowetting effect. We have characterized mechanical and optical properties of the microstructures and discuss their electrowetting-based actuation. These experimental results are in good agreement with a 3D theoretical model based on electrocapillarity and elasticity theory. This work forms the basis for a broad range of novel optical devices.

  18. Optical properties of bio-inspired peptide nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Handelman, Amir; Apter, Boris; Rosenman, Gil

    2016-04-01

    Supramolecular self-assembled bio-inspired peptide nanostructures are favorable to be implemented in diverse nanophotonics applications due to their superior physical properties such as wideband optical transparency, high second-order nonlinear response, waveguiding properties and more. Here, we focus on the optical properties found in di-phenylalanine peptide nano-architectures, with special emphasize on their linear and nonlinear optical waveguiding effects. Using both simulation and experiments, we show their ability to passively guide light at both fundamental and second-harmonic frequencies. In addition, we show that at elevated temperatures, 140-180°C, these native supramolecular structures undergo irreversible thermally induced transformation via re-assembling into completely new thermodynamically stable phase having nanofiber morphology similar to those of amyloid fibrils. In this new phase, the peptide nanofibers lose their second-order nonlinear response, while exhibit profound modification of optoelectronic properties followed by the appearance of visible (blue and green) photoluminescence (PL). Our study propose a new generation of multifunctional optical waveguides with variety of characteristics, which self-assembled into 1D-elongated nanostructures and could be used as building blocks of many integrated photonic devices.

  19. Miniaturized unified imaging system using bio-inspired fluidic lens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Frank S.; Cho, Sung Hwan; Qiao, Wen; Kim, Nam-Hyong; Lo, Yu-Hwa

    2008-08-01

    Miniaturized imaging systems have become ubiquitous as they are found in an ever-increasing number of devices, such as cellular phones, personal digital assistants, and web cameras. Until now, the design and fabrication methodology of such systems have not been significantly different from conventional cameras. The only established method to achieve focusing is by varying the lens distance. On the other hand, the variable-shape crystalline lens found in animal eyes offers inspiration for a more natural way of achieving an optical system with high functionality. Learning from the working concepts of the optics in the animal kingdom, we developed bio-inspired fluidic lenses for a miniature universal imager with auto-focusing, macro, and super-macro capabilities. Because of the enormous dynamic range of fluidic lenses, the miniature camera can even function as a microscope. To compensate for the image quality difference between the central vision and peripheral vision and the shape difference between a solid-state image sensor and a curved retina, we adopted a hybrid design consisting of fluidic lenses for tunability and fixed lenses for aberration and color dispersion correction. A design of the world's smallest surgical camera with 3X optical zoom capabilities is also demonstrated using the approach of hybrid lenses.

  20. Bio-inspired Fabrication of Complex Hierarchical Structure in Silicon.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yang; Peng, Zhengchun; Shi, Tielin; Tan, Xianhua; Zhang, Deqin; Huang, Qiang; Zou, Chuanping; Liao, Guanglan

    2015-08-01

    In this paper, we developed a top-down method to fabricate complex three dimensional silicon structure, which was inspired by the hierarchical micro/nanostructure of the Morpho butterfly scales. The fabrication procedure includes photolithography, metal masking, and both dry and wet etching techniques. First, microscale photoresist grating pattern was formed on the silicon (111) wafer. Trenches with controllable rippled structures on the sidewalls were etched by inductively coupled plasma reactive ion etching Bosch process. Then, Cr film was angled deposited on the bottom of the ripples by electron beam evaporation, followed by anisotropic wet etching of the silicon. The simple fabrication method results in large scale hierarchical structure on a silicon wafer. The fabricated Si structure has multiple layers with uniform thickness of hundreds nanometers. We conducted both light reflection and heat transfer experiments on this structure. They exhibited excellent antireflection performance for polarized ultraviolet, visible and near infrared wavelengths. And the heat flux of the structure was significantly enhanced. As such, we believe that these bio-inspired hierarchical silicon structure will have promising applications in photovoltaics, sensor technology and photonic crystal devices. PMID:26369172

  1. Bio-Inspired Stretchable Absolute Pressure Sensor Network.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yue; Li, Yu-Hung; Guo, Zhiqiang; Kim, Kyunglok; Chang, Fu-Kuo; Wang, Shan X

    2016-01-01

    A bio-inspired absolute pressure sensor network has been developed. Absolute pressure sensors, distributed on multiple silicon islands, are connected as a network by stretchable polyimide wires. This sensor network, made on a 4'' wafer, has 77 nodes and can be mounted on various curved surfaces to cover an area up to 0.64 m × 0.64 m, which is 100 times larger than its original size. Due to Micro Electro-Mechanical system (MEMS) surface micromachining technology, ultrathin sensing nodes can be realized with thicknesses of less than 100 µm. Additionally, good linearity and high sensitivity (~14 mV/V/bar) have been achieved. Since the MEMS sensor process has also been well integrated with a flexible polymer substrate process, the entire sensor network can be fabricated in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner. Moreover, an accurate pressure contour can be obtained from the sensor network. Therefore, this absolute pressure sensor network holds significant promise for smart vehicle applications, especially for unmanned aerial vehicles. PMID:26729134

  2. A bio-inspired herbal tea flavour assessment technique.

    PubMed

    Zakaria, Nur Zawatil Isqi; Masnan, Maz Jamilah; Zakaria, Ammar; Shakaff, Ali Yeon Md

    2014-01-01

    Herbal-based products are becoming a widespread production trend among manufacturers for the domestic and international markets. As the production increases to meet the market demand, it is very crucial for the manufacturer to ensure that their products have met specific criteria and fulfil the intended quality determined by the quality controller. One famous herbal-based product is herbal tea. This paper investigates bio-inspired flavour assessments in a data fusion framework involving an e-nose and e-tongue. The objectives are to attain good classification of different types and brands of herbal tea, classification of different flavour masking effects and finally classification of different concentrations of herbal tea. Two data fusion levels were employed in this research, low level data fusion and intermediate level data fusion. Four classification approaches; LDA, SVM, KNN and PNN were examined in search of the best classifier to achieve the research objectives. In order to evaluate the classifiers' performance, an error estimator based on k-fold cross validation and leave-one-out were applied. Classification based on GC-MS TIC data was also included as a comparison to the classification performance using fusion approaches. Generally, KNN outperformed the other classification techniques for the three flavour assessments in the low level data fusion and intermediate level data fusion. However, the classification results based on GC-MS TIC data are varied. PMID:25010697

  3. Bio-Inspired Stretchable Absolute Pressure Sensor Network

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yue; Li, Yu-Hung; Guo, Zhiqiang; Kim, Kyunglok; Chang, Fu-Kuo; Wang, Shan X.

    2016-01-01

    A bio-inspired absolute pressure sensor network has been developed. Absolute pressure sensors, distributed on multiple silicon islands, are connected as a network by stretchable polyimide wires. This sensor network, made on a 4’’ wafer, has 77 nodes and can be mounted on various curved surfaces to cover an area up to 0.64 m × 0.64 m, which is 100 times larger than its original size. Due to Micro Electro-Mechanical system (MEMS) surface micromachining technology, ultrathin sensing nodes can be realized with thicknesses of less than 100 µm. Additionally, good linearity and high sensitivity (~14 mV/V/bar) have been achieved. Since the MEMS sensor process has also been well integrated with a flexible polymer substrate process, the entire sensor network can be fabricated in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner. Moreover, an accurate pressure contour can be obtained from the sensor network. Therefore, this absolute pressure sensor network holds significant promise for smart vehicle applications, especially for unmanned aerial vehicles. PMID:26729134

  4. Optimized bio-inspired stiffening design for an engine nacelle.

    PubMed

    Lazo, Neil; Vodenitcharova, Tania; Hoffman, Mark

    2015-12-01

    Structural efficiency is a common engineering goal in which an ideal solution provides a structure with optimized performance at minimized weight, with consideration of material mechanical properties, structural geometry, and manufacturability. This study aims to address this goal in developing high performance lightweight, stiff mechanical components by creating an optimized design from a biologically-inspired template. The approach is implemented on the optimization of rib stiffeners along an aircraft engine nacelle. The helical and angled arrangements of cellulose fibres in plants were chosen as the bio-inspired template. Optimization of total displacement and weight was carried out using a genetic algorithm (GA) coupled with finite element analysis. Iterations showed a gradual convergence in normalized fitness. Displacement was given higher emphasis in optimization, thus the GA optimization tended towards individual designs with weights near the mass constraint. Dominant features of the resulting designs were helical ribs with rectangular cross-sections having large height-to-width ratio. Displacement reduction was at 73% as compared to an unreinforced nacelle, and is attributed to the geometric features and layout of the stiffeners, while mass is maintained within the constraint. PMID:26531222

  5. A Bio-Inspired Herbal Tea Flavour Assessment Technique

    PubMed Central

    Zakaria, Nur Zawatil Isqi; Masnan, Maz Jamilah; Zakaria, Ammar; Shakaff, Ali Yeon Md

    2014-01-01

    Herbal-based products are becoming a widespread production trend among manufacturers for the domestic and international markets. As the production increases to meet the market demand, it is very crucial for the manufacturer to ensure that their products have met specific criteria and fulfil the intended quality determined by the quality controller. One famous herbal-based product is herbal tea. This paper investigates bio-inspired flavour assessments in a data fusion framework involving an e-nose and e-tongue. The objectives are to attain good classification of different types and brands of herbal tea, classification of different flavour masking effects and finally classification of different concentrations of herbal tea. Two data fusion levels were employed in this research, low level data fusion and intermediate level data fusion. Four classification approaches; LDA, SVM, KNN and PNN were examined in search of the best classifier to achieve the research objectives. In order to evaluate the classifiers' performance, an error estimator based on k-fold cross validation and leave-one-out were applied. Classification based on GC-MS TIC data was also included as a comparison to the classification performance using fusion approaches. Generally, KNN outperformed the other classification techniques for the three flavour assessments in the low level data fusion and intermediate level data fusion. However, the classification results based on GC-MS TIC data are varied. PMID:25010697

  6. A bio-inspired test system for bionic above-knee prosthetic knees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Dai-Hua; Xu, Lei; Fu, Qiang; Yuan, Gang

    2013-04-01

    Recently, prosthetic knees in the developing stage are usually tested by installing them on amputees' stumps directly or on above-knee prostheses (AKPs) test platforms. Although amputees can fully provide the actual motion state of the thigh, immature prosthetic knees may hurt amputees. For AKPs test platforms, it just can partly simulate the actual motion state of the thigh with limitation of the motion curve of the thigh, the merits or demerits of newly developed bionic above-knee prosthetic knees cannot be accessed thoroughly. Aiming at the defects of two testing methods, this paper presents a bio-inspired AKPs test system for bionic above-knee prosthetic knees. The proposed bio-inspired AKPs test system is composed of a AKPs test platform, a control system, and a bio-inspired system. The AKPs test platform generates the motion of the thigh simulation mechanism (TSM) via two screw pairs with servo motors. The bio-inspired system includes the tester and the bio-inspired sensor wore by the tester. The control system, which is inspired by the bio-inspired system, generates the control command signal to move the TSM of the AKPs test platform. The bio-inspired AKPs test system is developed and experimentally tested with a commercially available prosthetic knee. The research results show that the bio-inspired AKPs test system can not only ensure the safety of the testers, but also track all kinds of the actual motion state of the thigh of the testers in real time.

  7. A new bio-inspired decision chain for UAV sense-and-avoid applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fallavollita, P.; Cimini, F.; Balsi, M.; Esposito, S.; Jankowski, S.

    This work, after a preliminary feasibility study using a Matlab environment simulation, defines the design and the real hardware testing of a new bio-inspired decision chain for UAV sense-and-avoid applications. Relying on a single and cheap visible camera sensor, computer vision, bio-inspired and automatic decision algorithms have been adopted and implemented on a specific ARM embedded platform through C++/OpenCV coding. A first data set processing, really captured on flight, has been presented.

  8. Three-Dimensional-Printing of Bio-Inspired Composites.

    PubMed

    Xiang Gu, Grace; Su, Isabelle; Sharma, Shruti; Voros, Jamie L; Qin, Zhao; Buehler, Markus J

    2016-02-01

    Optimized for millions of years, natural materials often outperform synthetic materials due to their hierarchical structures and multifunctional abilities. They usually feature a complex architecture that consists of simple building blocks. Indeed, many natural materials such as bone, nacre, hair, and spider silk, have outstanding material properties, making them applicable to engineering applications that may require both mechanical resilience and environmental compatibility. However, such natural materials are very difficult to harvest in bulk, and may be toxic in the way they occur naturally, and therefore, it is critical to use alternative methods to fabricate materials that have material functions similar to material function as their natural counterparts for large-scale applications. Recent progress in additive manufacturing, especially the ability to print multiple materials at upper micrometer resolution, has given researchers an excellent instrument to design and reconstruct natural-inspired materials. The most advanced 3D-printer can now be used to manufacture samples to emulate their geometry and material composition with high fidelity. Its capabilities, in combination with computational modeling, have provided us even more opportunities for designing, optimizing, and testing the function of composite materials, in order to achieve composites of high mechanical resilience and reliability. In this review article, we focus on the advanced material properties of several multifunctional biological materials and discuss how the advanced 3D-printing techniques can be used to mimic their architectures and functions. Lastly, we discuss the limitations of 3D-printing, suggest possible future developments, and discuss applications using bio-inspired materials as a tool in bioengineering and other fields. PMID:26747791

  9. Viscous-Inviscid Methods in Unsteady Aerodynamic Analysis of Bio-Inspired Morphing Wings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhruv, Akash V.

    Flight has been one of the greatest realizations of human imagination, revolutionizing communication and transportation over the years. This has greatly influenced the growth of technology itself, enabling researchers to communicate and share their ideas more effectively, extending the human potential to create more sophisticated systems. While the end product of a sophisticated technology makes our lives easier, its development process presents an array of challenges in itself. In last decade, scientists and engineers have turned towards bio-inspiration to design more efficient and robust aerodynamic systems to enhance the ability of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to be operated in cluttered environments, where tight maneuverability and controllability are necessary. Effective use of UAVs in domestic airspace will mark the beginning of a new age in communication and transportation. The design of such complex systems necessitates the need for faster and more effective tools to perform preliminary investigations in design, thereby streamlining the design process. This thesis explores the implementation of numerical panel methods for aerodynamic analysis of bio-inspired morphing wings. Numerical panel methods have been one of the earliest forms of computational methods for aerodynamic analysis to be developed. Although the early editions of this method performed only inviscid analysis, the algorithm has matured over the years as a result of contributions made by prominent aerodynamicists. The method discussed in this thesis is influenced by recent advancements in panel methods and incorporates both viscous and inviscid analysis of multi-flap wings. The surface calculation of aerodynamic coefficients makes this method less computationally expensive than traditional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solvers available, and thus is effective when both speed and accuracy are desired. The morphing wing design, which consists of sequential feather-like flaps installed

  10. A bio-inspired flying robot sheds light on insect piloting abilities.

    PubMed

    Franceschini, Nicolas; Ruffier, Franck; Serres, Julien

    2007-02-20

    When insects are flying forward, the image of the ground sweeps backward across their ventral viewfield and forms an "optic flow," which depends on both the groundspeed and the groundheight. To explain how these animals manage to avoid the ground by using this visual motion cue, we suggest that insect navigation hinges on a visual-feedback loop we have called the optic-flow regulator, which controls the vertical lift. To test this idea, we built a micro-helicopter equipped with an optic-flow regulator and a bio-inspired optic-flow sensor. This fly-by-sight micro-robot can perform exacting tasks such as take-off, level flight, and landing. Our control scheme accounts for many hitherto unexplained findings published during the last 70 years on insects' visually guided performances; for example, it accounts for the fact that honeybees descend in a headwind, land with a constant slope, and drown when travelling over mirror-smooth water. Our control scheme explains how insects manage to fly safely without any of the instruments used onboard aircraft to measure the groundheight, groundspeed, and descent speed. An optic-flow regulator is quite simple in terms of its neural implementation and just as appropriate for insects as it would be for aircraft. PMID:17291757

  11. A bio-inspired shape memory alloy composite (BISMAC) actuator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villanueva, A. A.; Joshi, K. B.; Blottman, J. B.; Priya, S.

    2010-02-01

    A beam-shape composite actuator using shape memory alloy (SMA) wires as the active component, termed a Bio-Inspired Shape Memory Alloy Composite (BISMAC), was designed to provide a large deformation profile. The BISMAC design was inspired by contraction of a jellyfish bell, utilizing the rowing mechanism for locomotion. Characterization of maximum deformation in underwater conditions was performed for different actuator configurations to analyze the effect of different design parameters, including silicone thickness, flexible steel thickness and distance between the SMA and flexible steel. A constant cross-section (CC)-BISMAC of length 16 cm was found to achieve deformation with a radius of curvature of 3.5 cm. Under equilibrium conditions, the CC-BISMAC was found to achieve 80% of maximum deformation, consuming 7.9 J/cycle driven at 16.2 V/0.98 A and a frequency of 0.25 Hz. A detailed analytical model was developed using the transfer matrix method and a 1D finite beam element (FE) model to simulate the behavior of the BISMAC incorporating gravity, buoyancy and SMA parameters. The FE and transfer matrix models had a maximum deformation error norm of 1.505 and 1.917 cm in comparison with experimentally observed beam deformation in the CC-BISMAC. The mean curvatures predicted by the FE and transfer matrix methods were 0.292 cm-1 and 0.295 cm-1 compared to a mean experimental curvature of 0.294 cm-1, a percentage error of -5.4% and 2.77%, respectively. Using the developed analytical model, an actuator design was fabricated mimicking the maximum deformation profile of jellyfish of the species Aurelia aurita (AA). The designed AA-BISMAC achieved a maximum curvature of 0.428 cm-1 as compared to 0.438 cm-1 for A. aurita with an average square root error of 0.043 cm-1, 10.2% of maximum A. aurita curvature.

  12. Bio-Inspired Approaches to Crystals with Composite Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meldrum, Fiona

    2013-03-01

    Advances in technology demand an ever-increasing degree of control over material structure, properties and function. As the properties of monolithic materials are necessary limited, one route to extending them is to create a composite by combining contrasting materials. The potential of this approach is beautifully illustrated by the formation of biominerals where organic macromolecules are combined with brittle minerals such as calcite to create crystals with considerable fracture toughness. This talk will discuss how bio-inspired approaches can be used to generate single crystals with composite crystals through a simple one-pot method. By precipitating calcite crystals in the presence of ``occlusion species'' ranging from latex particles, to organic and inorganic nanoparticles and finally small molecules we demonstrate that high amounts of foreign species can be incorporated through control over the additive surface chemistry, and that this can lead to an enhancement of the mechanical properties of the calcite. Occlusion of 20 nm anionic diblock copolymer micelles was achieved at levels of over 13 wt%, and the properties of the resuktant composite calcite crystals were measured using a range of techniques including IR spectroscopy, high resolution powder XRD and high resolution TEM. Incorporation of these macromolecules leads to crystals with structures and mechanical properties similar to those of biominerals. With sizes in the range of some intracrystalline proteins, the micelles act as ``pseudo-proteins'', thereby providing an excellent model system for investigation of the mechanism of macromolecule insertion within biominerals. Extension of these studies to the incorporation of small molecules (amino acids) again demonstrated high levels of incorporation without any change in the crystal morphology. Further, occlusion of these small molecules within the calcite lattice again resulted in a significant increase in the hardness of the calcite, a result which

  13. Bio-inspired Nanomaterials for Biosensing and Cell Response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, Molly

    2012-02-01

    This talk will provide an overview of our recent developments in bio-inspired nanomaterials for tissue regeneration and sensing. Bio-responsive nanomaterials are of growing importance with potential applications including drug delivery, diagnostics and tissue engineering [1]. DNA-, protein- or peptide-functionalised nanoparticle (NP) aggregates are particularly useful systems since triggered changes in their aggregation states may be readily monitored. Our recent simple conceptually novel approaches to real-time monitoring of protease, lipase and kinase enzyme action using modular peptide functionalized NPs will be presented [2,3,4]. The highly interdisciplinary field of Tissue Engineering (TE) can also benefit from advances in the design of bio-responsive nanomaterials. TE involves the development of artificial scaffold structures on which new cells are encouraged to grow. The ability to control topography and chemistry at the nanoscale offers exciting possibilities for stimulating growth of new tissue through the development of novel nanostructured scaffolds that mimic the nanostructure of the tissues in the body [1,5,6]. Recent developments in this context will be discussed as well as novel approaches to in vivo tissue regeneration of large volumes of highly vascularised and hierarchically organized tissue [7,8,9]. [4pt] [1] MM Stevens, J George. Science 310:1135-1138 (2005)[0pt] [2] A Laromaine, L Koh, M Murugesan, RV Ulijn, MM Stevens. Journal of the American Chemical Society 129:4156-4157 (2007)[0pt] [3] J Ghadiali, MM Stevens. Advanced Materials 20: 4359-4363 (2008); J Ghadiali et al, ACS Nano 4:4915-4919 (2010)[0pt] [4] D Aili, M Mager, D Roche, MM Stevens. Nano Letters 11:1401-1405 (2011) [0pt] [5] E Place, ND Evans, MM Stevens. Nature Materials 8:457-470 (2009)[0pt] [6] MD Mager, V LaPointe, MM Stevens. Nature Chemistry 3:582-589 (2011)[0pt] [7] MM Stevens et. al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102:11450-11455 (2005)[0pt] [8] E Gentleman et al. Nature

  14. Bio-inspired 3D microenvironments: a new dimension in tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Magin, Chelsea M; Alge, Daniel L; Anseth, Kristi S

    2016-04-01

    Biomaterial scaffolds have been a foundational element of the tissue engineering paradigm since the inception of the field. Over the years there has been a progressive move toward the rational design and fabrication of bio-inspired materials that mimic the composition as well as the architecture and 3D structure of tissues. In this review, we chronicle advances in the field that address key challenges in tissue engineering as well as some emerging applications. Specifically, a summary of the materials and chemistries used to engineer bio-inspired 3D matrices that mimic numerous aspects of the extracellular matrix is provided, along with an overview of bioprinting, an additive manufacturing approach, for the fabrication of engineered tissues with precisely controlled 3D structures and architectures. To emphasize the potential clinical impact of the bio-inspired paradigm in biomaterials engineering, some applications of bio-inspired matrices are discussed in the context of translational tissue engineering. However, focus is also given to recent advances in the use of engineered 3D cellular microenvironments for fundamental studies in cell biology, including photoresponsive systems that are shedding new light on how matrix properties influence cell phenotype and function. In an outlook for future work, the need for high-throughput methods both for screening and fabrication is highlighted. Finally, microscale organ-on-a-chip technologies are highlighted as a promising area for future investment in the application of bio-inspired microenvironments. PMID:26942469

  15. Bio-inspired patterned networks (BIPS) for development of wearable/disposable biosensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLamore, E. S.; Convertino, M.; Hondred, John; Das, Suprem; Claussen, J. C.; Vanegas, D. C.; Gomes, C.

    2016-05-01

    Here we demonstrate a novel approach for fabricating point of care (POC) wearable electrochemical biosensors based on 3D patterning of bionanocomposite networks. To create Bio-Inspired Patterned network (BIPS) electrodes, we first generate fractal network in silico models that optimize transport of network fluxes according to an energy function. Network patterns are then inkjet printed onto flexible substrate using conductive graphene ink. We then deposit fractal nanometal structures onto the graphene to create a 3D nanocomposite network. Finally, we biofunctionalize the surface with biorecognition agents using covalent bonding. In this paper, BIPS are used to develop high efficiency, low cost biosensors for measuring glucose as a proof of concept. Our results on the fundamental performance of BIPS sensors show that the biomimetic nanostructures significantly enhance biosensor sensitivity, accuracy, response time, limit of detection, and hysteresis compared to conventional POC non fractal electrodes (serpentine, interdigitated, and screen printed electrodes). BIPs, in particular Apollonian patterned BIPS, represent a new generation of POC biosensors based on nanoscale and microscale fractal networks that significantly improve electrical connectivity, leading to enhanced sensor performance.

  16. A bio-inspired swarm robot coordination algorithm for multiple target searching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Yan; Gan, Jing; Desai, Sachi

    2008-04-01

    The coordination of a multi-robot system searching for multi targets is challenging under dynamic environment since the multi-robot system demands group coherence (agents need to have the incentive to work together faithfully) and group competence (agents need to know how to work together well). In our previous proposed bio-inspired coordination method, Local Interaction through Virtual Stigmergy (LIVS), one problem is the considerable randomness of the robot movement during coordination, which may lead to more power consumption and longer searching time. To address these issues, an adaptive LIVS (ALIVS) method is proposed in this paper, which not only considers the travel cost and target weight, but also predicting the target/robot ratio and potential robot redundancy with respect to the detected targets. Furthermore, a dynamic weight adjustment is also applied to improve the searching performance. This new method a truly distributed method where each robot makes its own decision based on its local sensing information and the information from its neighbors. Basically, each robot only communicates with its neighbors through a virtual stigmergy mechanism and makes its local movement decision based on a Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm. The proposed ALIVS algorithm has been implemented on the embodied robot simulator, Player/Stage, in a searching target. The simulation results demonstrate the efficiency and robustness in a power-efficient manner with the real-world constraints.

  17. A bio-inspired stimulator to desynchronize epileptic cortical population models: A digital implementation framework.

    PubMed

    Piri, Mohsen; Amiri, Masoud; Amiri, Mahmood

    2015-07-01

    Pathophysiologic neural synchronization is a hallmark of several neurological disorders such as epilepsy. In addition, based on established neurophysiologic findings, astrocytes dynamically regulate the synaptic transmission and have key roles in stabilizing neural synchronization. Therefore, in the present study, based on the dynamic model of astrocyte, a digital bio-inspired stimulator is proposed to avoid the hyper-synchronous seizure-like activities in a cortical population model. The complete digital circuit of the close loop system that is the bio-inspired stimulator and the cortical population model are implemented in hardware on the ZedBoard development kit. Based on the results of MATLAB simulations, hardware synthesis and FPGA implementation, it is demonstrated that the digital bio-inspired stimulator can effectively prevent the occurrence of spontaneous paroxysmal episodes with a demand-controlled characteristic. In this way, the designed digital stimulator successfully maintains the normal ongoing activity. PMID:25888932

  18. Architecture for persistent surveillance using mast and UAS-based autonomous sensing with bio-inspired technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burman, Jerry

    2014-06-01

    A sophisticated real time architecture for capturing relevant battlefield information of personnel and terrestrial events from a network of mast based imaging and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) with target detection, tracking, classification and visualization is presented. Persistent surveillance of personnel and vehicles is achieved using a unique spatial and temporally invariant motion detection and tracking algorithm for mast based cameras in combination with aerial remote sensing to autonomously monitor unattended ground based sensor networks. UAS autonomous routing is achieved using bio-inspired algorithms that mimic how bacteria locate nutrients in their environment. Results include field test data, performance and lessons learned. The technology also has application to detecting and tracking low observables (manned and UAS), counter MANPADS, airport bird detection and search and rescue operations.

  19. Bio-Inspired Metal-Coordination Dynamics: A Unique Tool for Engineering Soft Matter Mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holten-Andersen, Niels

    Growing evidence supports a critical role of metal-coordination in soft biological material properties such as self-healing, underwater adhesion and autonomous wound plugging. Using bio-inspired metal-binding polymers, initial efforts to mimic these properties with metal-coordination crosslinked polymer materials have shown promise. In addition, with polymer network mechanics strongly coupled to coordinate crosslink dynamics material properties can be easily tuned from visco-elastic fluids to solids. Given their exploitation in desirable material applications in Nature, bio-inspired metal-coordinate complex crosslinking provides an opportunity to further advance synthetic polymer materials design. Early lessons from this pursuit are presented.

  20. Development of a bio-inspired UAV perching system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Pu

    of animals and human arms approaching to a fixed or moving target for grasping or capturing. The autonomous flight control was also implemented through a PID controller. Autonomous flight performance was proved through simulation in SimMechanics. Finally, the prototyping of our designs were conducted in different generations of our bio-inspired UAV perching system, which include the leg prototype, gripper prototype, and system prototype. Both the machined prototype and 3D printed prototype were tried. The performance of these prototypes was tested through experiments.

  1. A two-dimensional iterative panel method and boundary layer model for bio-inspired multi-body wings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blower, Christopher J.; Dhruv, Akash; Wickenheiser, Adam M.

    2014-03-01

    The increased use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has created a continuous demand for improved flight capabilities and range of use. During the last decade, engineers have turned to bio-inspiration for new and innovative flow control methods for gust alleviation, maneuverability, and stability improvement using morphing aircraft wings. The bio-inspired wing design considered in this study mimics the flow manipulation techniques performed by birds to extend the operating envelope of UAVs through the installation of an array of feather-like panels across the airfoil's upper and lower surfaces while replacing the trailing edge flap. Each flap has the ability to deflect into both the airfoil and the inbound airflow using hinge points with a single degree-of-freedom, situated at 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% of the chord. The installation of the surface flaps offers configurations that enable advantageous maneuvers while alleviating gust disturbances. Due to the number of possible permutations available for the flap configurations, an iterative constant-strength doublet/source panel method has been developed with an integrated boundary layer model to calculate the pressure distribution and viscous drag over the wing's surface. As a result, the lift, drag and moment coefficients for each airfoil configuration can be calculated. The flight coefficients of this numerical method are validated using experimental data from a low speed suction wind tunnel operating at a Reynolds Number 300,000. This method enables the aerodynamic assessment of a morphing wing profile to be performed accurately and efficiently in comparison to Computational Fluid Dynamics methods and experiments as discussed herein.

  2. High Speed Edge Detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prokop, Norman F (Inventor)

    2016-01-01

    Analog circuits for detecting edges in pixel arrays are disclosed. A comparator may be configured to receive an all pass signal and a low pass signal for a pixel intensity in an array of pixels. A latch may be configured to receive a counter signal and a latching signal from the comparator. The comparator may be configured to send the latching signal to the latch when the all pass signal is below the low pass signal minus an offset. The latch may be configured to hold a last negative edge location when the latching signal is received from the comparator.

  3. High Speed Edge Detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prokop, Norman F (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    Analog circuits for detecting edges in pixel arrays are disclosed. A comparator may be configured to receive an all pass signal and a low pass signal for a pixel intensity in an array of pixels. A latch may be configured to receive a counter signal and a latching signal from the comparator. The comparator may be configured to send the latching signal to the latch when the all pass signal is below the low pass signal minus an offset. The latch may be configured to hold a last negative edge location when the latching signal is received from the comparator.

  4. Bio-inspired robot design for viscous fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Grace; Lipman, Tyler; Jung, Sunghwan

    Many modern micro-robots are designed for biomedical applications to transport drugs to targets or to operate tests in the body for diagnosis. However, most micro-robots simply mimic the morphology and the propulsive mechanism of micro-organisms without understanding the underlying physics of low-Re swimming. Two types of swimming motions have been observed in micro-organisms; stresslet and source-dipole swimming. The stresslet swimmer (e.g. E. coli) uses a rotating helical appendage, whereas the source-dipole swimmer (e.g. Paramecium) creates surface velocity for propulsion. Using this principle, we designed a robot to swim in very viscous fluids either by rotating a helix or creating surface velocity, simply by changing the orientation of the appendage. Further, we will discuss the performance of this robot (swimming speed and rotation speed) with respect to the number, winding angle, and radius of helices in a very viscous fluid.

  5. On-chip visual perception of motion: a bio-inspired connectionist model on FPGA.

    PubMed

    Torres-Huitzil, César; Girau, Bernard; Castellanos-Sánchez, Claudio

    2005-01-01

    Visual motion provides useful information to understand the dynamics of a scene to allow intelligent systems interact with their environment. Motion computation is usually restricted by real time requirements that need the design and implementation of specific hardware architectures. In this paper, the design of hardware architecture for a bio-inspired neural model for motion estimation is presented. The motion estimation is based on a strongly localized bio-inspired connectionist model with a particular adaptation of spatio-temporal Gabor-like filtering. The architecture is constituted by three main modules that perform spatial, temporal, and excitatory-inhibitory connectionist processing. The biomimetic architecture is modeled, simulated and validated in VHDL. The synthesis results on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) device show the potential achievement of real-time performance at an affordable silicon area. PMID:16102939

  6. Multibody system dynamics for bio-inspired locomotion: from geometric structures to computational aspects.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Frédéric; Porez, Mathieu

    2015-04-01

    This article presents a set of generic tools for multibody system dynamics devoted to the study of bio-inspired locomotion in robotics. First, archetypal examples from the field of bio-inspired robot locomotion are presented to prepare the ground for further discussion. The general problem of locomotion is then stated. In considering this problem, we progressively draw a unified geometric picture of locomotion dynamics. For that purpose, we start from the model of discrete mobile multibody systems (MMSs) that we progressively extend to the case of continuous and finally soft systems. Beyond these theoretical aspects, we address the practical problem of the efficient computation of these models by proposing a Newton-Euler-based approach to efficient locomotion dynamics with a few illustrations of creeping, swimming, and flying. PMID:25811531

  7. A bio-inspired apposition compound eye machine vision sensor system.

    PubMed

    Davis, J D; Barrett, S F; Wright, C H G; Wilcox, M

    2009-12-01

    The Wyoming Information, Signal Processing, and Robotics Laboratory is developing a wide variety of bio-inspired vision sensors. We are interested in exploring the vision system of various insects and adapting some of their features toward the development of specialized vision sensors. We do not attempt to supplant traditional digital imaging techniques but rather develop sensor systems tailor made for the application at hand. We envision that many applications may require a hybrid approach using conventional digital imaging techniques enhanced with bio-inspired analogue sensors. In this specific project, we investigated the apposition compound eye and its characteristics commonly found in diurnal insects and certain species of arthropods. We developed and characterized an array of apposition compound eye-type sensors and tested them on an autonomous robotic vehicle. The robot exhibits the ability to follow a pre-defined target and avoid specified obstacles using a simple control algorithm. PMID:19901450

  8. Overcoming the brittleness of glass through bio-inspiration and micro-architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirkhalaf, M.; Dastjerdi, A. Khayer; Barthelat, F.

    2014-01-01

    Highly mineralized natural materials such as teeth or mollusk shells boast unusual combinations of stiffness, strength and toughness currently unmatched by engineering materials. While high mineral contents provide stiffness and hardness, these materials also contain weaker interfaces with intricate architectures, which can channel propagating cracks into toughening configurations. Here we report the implementation of these features into glass, using a laser engraving technique. Three-dimensional arrays of laser-generated microcracks can deflect and guide larger incoming cracks, following the concept of ‘stamp holes’. Jigsaw-like interfaces, infiltrated with polyurethane, furthermore channel cracks into interlocking configurations and pullout mechanisms, significantly enhancing energy dissipation and toughness. Compared with standard glass, which has no microstructure and is brittle, our bio-inspired glass displays built-in mechanisms that make it more deformable and 200 times tougher. This bio-inspired approach, based on carefully architectured interfaces, provides a new pathway to toughening glasses, ceramics or other hard and brittle materials.

  9. Bio-Inspired Controller on an FPGA Applied to Closed-Loop Diaphragmatic Stimulation.

    PubMed

    Zbrzeski, Adeline; Bornat, Yannick; Hillen, Brian; Siu, Ricardo; Abbas, James; Jung, Ranu; Renaud, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Cervical spinal cord injury can disrupt connections between the brain respiratory network and the respiratory muscles which can lead to partial or complete loss of ventilatory control and require ventilatory assistance. Unlike current open-loop technology, a closed-loop diaphragmatic pacing system could overcome the drawbacks of manual titration as well as respond to changing ventilation requirements. We present an original bio-inspired assistive technology for real-time ventilation assistance, implemented in a digital configurable Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). The bio-inspired controller, which is a spiking neural network (SNN) inspired by the medullary respiratory network, is as robust as a classic controller while having a flexible, low-power and low-cost hardware design. The system was simulated in MATLAB with FPGA-specific constraints and tested with a computational model of rat breathing; the model reproduced experimentally collected respiratory data in eupneic animals. The open-loop version of the bio-inspired controller was implemented on the FPGA. Electrical test bench characterizations confirmed the system functionality. Open and closed-loop paradigm simulations were simulated to test the FPGA system real-time behavior using the rat computational model. The closed-loop system monitors breathing and changes in respiratory demands to drive diaphragmatic stimulation. The simulated results inform future acute animal experiments and constitute the first step toward the development of a neuromorphic, adaptive, compact, low-power, implantable device. The bio-inspired hardware design optimizes the FPGA resource and time costs while harnessing the computational power of spike-based neuromorphic hardware. Its real-time feature makes it suitable for in vivo applications. PMID:27378844

  10. Bio-Inspired Controller on an FPGA Applied to Closed-Loop Diaphragmatic Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Zbrzeski, Adeline; Bornat, Yannick; Hillen, Brian; Siu, Ricardo; Abbas, James; Jung, Ranu; Renaud, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Cervical spinal cord injury can disrupt connections between the brain respiratory network and the respiratory muscles which can lead to partial or complete loss of ventilatory control and require ventilatory assistance. Unlike current open-loop technology, a closed-loop diaphragmatic pacing system could overcome the drawbacks of manual titration as well as respond to changing ventilation requirements. We present an original bio-inspired assistive technology for real-time ventilation assistance, implemented in a digital configurable Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). The bio-inspired controller, which is a spiking neural network (SNN) inspired by the medullary respiratory network, is as robust as a classic controller while having a flexible, low-power and low-cost hardware design. The system was simulated in MATLAB with FPGA-specific constraints and tested with a computational model of rat breathing; the model reproduced experimentally collected respiratory data in eupneic animals. The open-loop version of the bio-inspired controller was implemented on the FPGA. Electrical test bench characterizations confirmed the system functionality. Open and closed-loop paradigm simulations were simulated to test the FPGA system real-time behavior using the rat computational model. The closed-loop system monitors breathing and changes in respiratory demands to drive diaphragmatic stimulation. The simulated results inform future acute animal experiments and constitute the first step toward the development of a neuromorphic, adaptive, compact, low-power, implantable device. The bio-inspired hardware design optimizes the FPGA resource and time costs while harnessing the computational power of spike-based neuromorphic hardware. Its real-time feature makes it suitable for in vivo applications. PMID:27378844

  11. Bio-inspired microfluidics: The case of the velvet worm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Concha, Andres; Mellado, Paula; Morera-Brenes, Bernal; Sampaio-Costa, Cristiano; Mahadevan, L.; Monge-Najera, Julian

    The rapid squirt of a proteinaceous slime jet endow velvet worms (Onychophora) with a unique mechanism for defense from predators and for capturing prey by entangling them in a disordered web that immobilizes their target. However, to date neither qualitative nor quantitative descriptions have been provided for this unique adaptation. We have investigated the mechanism that allows velvet worms the fast oscillatory motion of their oral papillae and the exiting liquid jet that oscillates with frequencies f ~ 30 - 60 Hz. Using anatomical images and high speed videography, we show that even without fast muscular action of the papilla, a strong contraction of the slime reservoir and the geometry of the reservoir-papilla system suffices to accelerate the slime to speeds up to v ~ 5 m /s in about Δt ~ 60 ms. A theoretical analysis and a physical simulacrum allow us to infer that this fast oscillatory motion is the result of an elastohydrodynamic instability driven by the interplay between the elasticity of oral papillae and the fast unsteady flow during squirting. We propose several applications that can be implemented using this instability, ranging from high-throughput droplet production, printing, and micro-nanofiber production among others. A.C was partially supported by Fondecyt Grant 11130075.

  12. Cochlear outer hair cell bio-inspired metamaterial with negative effective parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Fuyin; Wu, Jiu Hui; Huang, Meng; Zhang, Siwen

    2016-05-01

    Inspired by periodical outer hair cells (OHCs) and stereocilia clusters of mammalian cochlear, a type of bio-inspired metamaterial with negative effective parameters based on the OHC structure is proposed. With the structural parameters modified and some common engineering materials adopted, the bio-inspired structure design with length scales of millimeter and lightweight is presented, and then, a bending wave bandgap in a favorable low-frequency with width of 55 Hz during the interval 21-76 or 116 Hz during the interval 57-173 Hz is obtained, i.e., the excellent low-frequency acoustic performance turns up. Compared with the local resonance unit in previous literatures, both the size and weight are greatly reduced in our bio-inspired structure. In addition, the lower edge of low-frequency bandgap is reduced by an order of magnitude, almost to the lower limit frequency of the hearing threshold as well, which achieves an important breakthrough on the aspect of low-frequency and great significance on the noise and vibration reduction in low-frequency range.

  13. Parameter estimation with bio-inspired meta-heuristic optimization: modeling the dynamics of endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    results hold for both real and artificial data, for all observability scenarios considered, and for all amounts of noise added to the artificial data. In sum, the meta-heuristic methods considered are suitable for estimating the parameters in the ODE model of the dynamics of endocytosis under a range of conditions: With the model and conditions being representative of parameter estimation tasks in ODE models of biochemical systems, our results clearly highlight the promise of bio-inspired meta-heuristic methods for parameter estimation in dynamic system models within system biology. PMID:21989196

  14. Bio-Inspired Neural Model for Learning Dynamic Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duong, Tuan; Duong, Vu; Suri, Ronald

    2009-01-01

    A neural-network mathematical model that, relative to prior such models, places greater emphasis on some of the temporal aspects of real neural physical processes, has been proposed as a basis for massively parallel, distributed algorithms that learn dynamic models of possibly complex external processes by means of learning rules that are local in space and time. The algorithms could be made to perform such functions as recognition and prediction of words in speech and of objects depicted in video images. The approach embodied in this model is said to be "hardware-friendly" in the following sense: The algorithms would be amenable to execution by special-purpose computers implemented as very-large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuits that would operate at relatively high speeds and low power demands.

  15. Bio-inspired nanocomposite assemblies as smart skin components.

    SciTech Connect

    Montano, Gabriel A.; Xiao, Xiaoyin; Achyuthan, Komandoor E.; Allen, Amy; Brozik, Susan Marie; Edwards, Thayne L.; Frischknecht, Amalie Lucile; Wheeler, David Roger

    2011-09-01

    There is national interest in the development of sophisticated materials that can automatically detect and respond to chemical and biological threats without the need for human intervention. In living systems, cell membranes perform such functions on a routine basis, detecting threats, communicating with the cell, and triggering automatic responses such as the opening and closing of ion channels. The purpose of this project was to learn how to replicate simple threat detection and response functions within artificial membrane systems. The original goals toward developing 'smart skin' assemblies included: (1) synthesizing functionalized nanoparticles to produce electrochemically responsive systems within a lipid bilayer host matrices, (2) calculating the energetics of nanoparticle-lipid interactions and pore formation, and (3) determining the mechanism of insertion of nanoparticles in lipid bilayers via imaging and electrochemistry. There are a few reports of the use of programmable materials to open and close pores in rigid hosts such as mesoporous materials using either heat or light activation. However, none of these materials can regulate themselves in response to the detection of threats. The strategies we investigated in this project involve learning how to use programmable nanomaterials to automatically eliminate open channels within a lipid bilayer host when 'threats' are detected. We generated and characterized functionalized nanoparticles that can be used to create synthetic pores through the membrane and investigated methods of eliminating the pores either through electrochemistry, change in pH, etc. We also focused on characterizing the behavior of functionalized gold NPs in different lipid membranes and lipid vesicles and coupled these results to modeling efforts designed to gain an understanding of the interaction of nanoparticles within lipid assemblies.

  16. Bio-Inspired Green Nanoparticles: Synthesis, Mechanism, and Antibacterial Application

    PubMed Central

    Velusamy, Palaniyandi; Kumar, Govindarajan Venkat; Jeyanthi, Venkadapathi; Das, Jayabrata; Pachaiappan, Raman

    2016-01-01

    In the recent years, noble nanoparticles have attracted and emerged in the field of biology, medicine and electronics due to their incredible applications. There were several methods have been used for synthesis of nanoparticles such as toxic chemicals and high energy physical procedures. To overcome these, biological method has been used for the synthesis of various metal nanoparticles. Among the nanoparticles, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have received much attention in various fields, such as antimicrobial activity, therapeutics, bio-molecular detection, silver nanocoated medical devices and optical receptor. Moreover, the biological approach, in particular the usage of natural organisms has offered a reliable, simple, nontoxic and environmental friendly method. Hence, the current article is focused on the biological synthesis of silver nanoparticles and their application in the biomedical field. PMID:27123159

  17. Biomimetic and bio-inspired robotics in electric fish research.

    PubMed

    Neveln, Izaak D; Bai, Yang; Snyder, James B; Solberg, James R; Curet, Oscar M; Lynch, Kevin M; MacIver, Malcolm A

    2013-07-01

    Weakly electric knifefish have intrigued both biologists and engineers for decades with their unique electrosensory system and agile swimming mechanics. Study of these fish has resulted in models that illuminate the principles behind their electrosensory system and unique swimming abilities. These models have uncovered the mechanisms by which knifefish generate thrust for swimming forward and backward, hovering, and heaving dorsally using a ventral elongated median fin. Engineered active electrosensory models inspired by electric fish allow for close-range sensing in turbid waters where other sensing modalities fail. Artificial electrosense is capable of aiding navigation, detection and discrimination of objects, and mapping the environment, all tasks for which the fish use electrosense extensively. While robotic ribbon fin and artificial electrosense research has been pursued separately to reduce complications that arise when they are combined, electric fish have succeeded in their ecological niche through close coupling of their sensing and mechanical systems. Future integration of electrosense and ribbon fin technology into a knifefish robot should likewise result in a vehicle capable of navigating complex 3D geometries unreachable with current underwater vehicles, as well as provide insights into how to design mobile robots that integrate high bandwidth sensing with highly responsive multidirectional movement. PMID:23761475

  18. Bio-inspired nano-sensor-enhanced CNN visual computer.

    PubMed

    Porod, Wolfgang; Werblin, Frank; Chua, Leon O; Roska, Tamas; Rodriguez-Vazquez, Angel; Roska, Botond; Fay, Patrick; Bernstein, Gary H; Huang, Yih-Fang; Csurgay, Arpad I

    2004-05-01

    Nanotechnology opens new ways to utilize recent discoveries in biological image processing by translating the underlying functional concepts into the design of CNN (cellular neural/nonlinear network)-based systems incorporating nanoelectronic devices. There is a natural intersection joining studies of retinal processing, spatio-temporal nonlinear dynamics embodied in CNN, and the possibility of miniaturizing the technology through nanotechnology. This intersection serves as the springboard for our multidisciplinary project. Biological feature and motion detectors map directly into the spatio-temporal dynamics of CNN for target recognition, image stabilization, and tracking. The neural interactions underlying color processing will drive the development of nanoscale multispectral sensor arrays for image fusion. Implementing such nanoscale sensors on a CNN platform will allow the implementation of device feedback control, a hallmark of biological sensory systems. These biologically inspired CNN subroutines are incorporated into the new world of analog-and-logic algorithms and software, containing also many other active-wave computing mechanisms, including nature-inspired (physics and chemistry) as well as PDE-based sophisticated spatio-temporal algorithms. Our goal is to design and develop several miniature prototype devices for target detection, navigation, tracking, and robotics. This paper presents an example illustrating the synergies emerging from the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information and cognitive science. PMID:15194609

  19. BATMAV: a 2-DOF bio-inspired flapping flight platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunget, Gheorghe; Seelecke, Stefan

    2010-04-01

    Due to the availability of small sensors, Micro-Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) can be used for detection missions of biological, chemical and nuclear agents. Traditionally these devices used fixed or rotary wings, actuated with electric DC motortransmission, a system which brings the disadvantage of a heavier platform. The overall objective of the BATMAV project is to develop a biologically inspired bat-like MAV with flexible and foldable wings for flapping flight. This paper presents a flight platform that features bat-inspired wings which are able to actively fold their elbow joints. A previous analysis of the flight physics for small birds, bats and large insects, revealed that the mammalian flight anatomy represents a suitable flight platform that can be actuated efficiently using Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) artificial-muscles. A previous study of the flight styles in bats based on the data collected by Norberg [1] helped to identify the required joint angles as relevant degrees of freedom for wing actuation. Using the engineering theory of robotic manipulators, engineering kinematic models of wings with 2 and 3-DOFs were designed to mimic the wing trajectories of the natural flier Plecotus auritus. Solid models of the bat-like skeleton were designed based on the linear and angular dimensions resulted from the kinematic models. This structure of the flight platform was fabricated using rapid prototyping technologies and assembled to form a desktop prototype with 2-DOFs wings. Preliminary flapping test showed suitable trajectories for wrist and wingtip that mimic the flapping cycle of the natural flyer.

  20. Bio-inspired artificial iridophores based on capillary origami: Fabrication and device characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manakasettharn, Supone; Ashley Taylor, J.; Krupenkin, Tom N.

    2011-10-01

    Cephalopods have evolved complex optical mechanisms of dynamic skin color control based on mechanical actuation of micro-scale optical structures such as iridophores and chromatophores. In this work, we describe the design, fabrication, and characterization of bio-inspired artificial iridophores, which resemble microflowers with flexible reflective petals, based on capillary origami microstructures. Two methods of petal actuation have been demonstrated—one based on the electrowetting process and the other by volume change of the liquid droplet. These results were in good agreement with a model derived to characterize the actuation dynamics.

  1. A bio-inspired approach for in situ synthesis of tunable adhesive.

    PubMed

    Sun, Leming; Yi, Sijia; Wang, Yongzhong; Pan, Kang; Zhong, Qixin; Zhang, Mingjun

    2014-03-01

    Inspired by the strong adhesive produced by English ivy, this paper proposes an in situ synthesis approach for fabricating tunable nanoparticle enhanced adhesives. Special attention was given to tunable features of the adhesive produced by the biological process. Parameters that may be used to tune properties of the adhesive will be proposed. To illustrate and validate the proposed approach, an experimental platform was presented for fabricating tunable chitosan adhesive enhanced by Au nanoparticles synthesized in situ. This study contributes to a bio-inspired approach for in situ synthesis of tunable nanocomposite adhesives by mimicking the natural biological processes of ivy adhesive synthesis. PMID:24343277

  2. Bio-inspired synthesis of ZnO polyhedral single crystals under eggshell membrane direction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Huilan; Song, Fang; Dong, Qun; Li, Tuoqi; Zhang, Xin; Zhang, Di

    2011-07-01

    A simple and versatile technique was developed to prepare hierarchical ZnO single crystals by introducing eggshell membrane (ESM) to a bio-inspired approach. Based on the control of nucleation and gestation, ZnO nanocrystallites could grow at three dimensions into polyhedral single crystals through a surface sol-gel process followed by a calcination treatment. Different from traditional wet chemical techniques, our synthetic process depends more on the restrictive or directing functions of the ESM biomacromolecules. The hierarchical ZnO nanostructures doped with polyhedral single crystallites could be desirable for catalysts, photoelectrochemical devices, especially solar cells.

  3. Facile creation of bio-inspired superhydrophobic Ce-based metallic glass surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Kesong; Li Zhou; Wang Weihua; Jiang Lei

    2011-12-26

    A bio-inspired synthesis strategy was conducted to fabricate superhydrophobic Ce-based bulk metallic glass (BMG) surfaces with self-cleaning properties. Micro-nanoscale hierarchical structures were first constructed on BMG surfaces and then modified with the low surface energy coating. Surface structures, surface chemical compositions, and wettability were characterized by combining scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and contact angle measurements. Research indicated that both surface multiscale structures and the low surface free energy coating result in the final formation of superhydrophobicity.

  4. Guided extracellular matrix formation from fibroblast cells cultured on bio-inspired configurable multiscale substrata

    PubMed Central

    Bae, Won-Gyu; Kim, Jangho; Choung, Yun-Hoon; Chung, Yesol; Suh, Kahp Y.; Pang, Changhyun; Chung, Jong Hoon; Jeong, Hoon Eui

    2015-01-01

    Engineering complex extracellular matrix (ECM) is an important challenge for cell and tissue engineering applications as well as for understanding fundamental cell biology. We developed the methodology for fabrication of precisely controllable multiscale hierarchical structures using capillary force lithography in combination with original wrinkling technique for the generation of well-defined native ECM-like platforms by culturing fibroblast cells on the multiscale substrata [1]. This paper provides information on detailed characteristics of polyethylene glycol-diacrylate multiscale substrata. In addition, a possible model for guided extracellular matrix formation from fibroblast cells cultured on bio-inspired configurable multiscale substrata is proposed. PMID:26543882

  5. A new bio-inspired route to metal-nanoparticle-based heterogeneous catalysts.

    PubMed

    Debecker, Damien P; Faure, Chrystel; Meyre, Marie-Edith; Derré, Alain; Gaigneaux, Eric M

    2008-10-01

    Onion-type multilamellar vesicles are made of concentric bilayers of organic surfactant and are mainly known for their potential applications in biotechnology. They can be used as microreactors for the spontaneous and controlled production of metal nanoparticles. This process does not require any thermal treatment and, hence, it is also attractive for material sciences such as heterogeneous catalysis. In this paper, silver-nanoparticle-based catalysts are prepared by transferring onion-grown silver nanoparticles onto inorganic supports. The resulting materials are active in the total oxidation of benzene, attesting that this novel bio-inspired concept is promising in inorganic catalysis. PMID:18844300

  6. Final Report for Bio-Inspired Approaches to Moving-Target Defense Strategies

    SciTech Connect

    Fink, Glenn A.; Oehmen, Christopher S.

    2012-09-01

    This report records the work and contributions of the NITRD-funded Bio-Inspired Approaches to Moving-Target Defense Strategies project performed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory under the technical guidance of the National Security Agency’s R6 division. The project has incorporated a number of bio-inspired cyber defensive technologies within an elastic framework provided by the Digital Ants. This project has created the first scalable, real-world prototype of the Digital Ants Framework (DAF)[11] and integrated five technologies into this flexible, decentralized framework: (1) Ant-Based Cyber Defense (ABCD), (2) Behavioral Indicators, (3) Bioinformatic Clas- sification, (4) Moving-Target Reconfiguration, and (5) Ambient Collaboration. The DAF can be used operationally to decentralize many such data intensive applications that normally rely on collection of large amounts of data in a central repository. In this work, we have shown how these component applications may be decentralized and may perform analysis at the edge. Operationally, this will enable analytics to scale far beyond current limitations while not suffering from the bandwidth or computational limitations of centralized analysis. This effort has advanced the R6 Cyber Security research program to secure digital infrastructures by developing a dynamic means to adaptively defend complex cyber systems. We hope that this work will benefit both our client’s efforts in system behavior modeling and cyber security to the overall benefit of the nation.

  7. An experimental study of a bio-inspired corrugated airfoil for micro air vehicle applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Jeffery T.; Hu, Hui

    2010-08-01

    An experimental study was conducted to investigate the aerodynamic characteristics of a bio-inspired corrugated airfoil compared with a smooth-surfaced airfoil and a flat plate at the chord Reynolds number of Re C = 58,000-125,000 to explore the potential applications of such bio-inspired corrugated airfoils for micro air vehicle designs. In addition to measuring the aerodynamic lift and drag forces acting on the tested airfoils, a digital particle image velocimetry system was used to conduct detailed flowfield measurements to quantify the transient behavior of vortex and turbulent flow structures around the airfoils. The measurement result revealed clearly that the corrugated airfoil has better performance over the smooth-surfaced airfoil and the flat plate in providing higher lift and preventing large-scale flow separation and airfoil stall at low Reynolds numbers (Re C < 100,000). While aerodynamic performance of the smooth-surfaced airfoil and the flat plate would vary considerably with the changing of the chord Reynolds numbers, the aerodynamic performance of the corrugated airfoil was found to be almost insensitive to the Reynolds numbers. The detailed flow field measurements were correlated with the aerodynamic force measurement data to elucidate underlying physics to improve our understanding about how and why the corrugation feature found in dragonfly wings holds aerodynamic advantages for low Reynolds number flight applications.

  8. Tissue-Engineered Fibrin-Based Heart Valve with Bio-Inspired Textile Reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Ricardo; Neusser, Christine; Kruse, Magnus; Mulderrig, Shane; Wolf, Frederic; Spillner, Jan; Schmitz-Rode, Thomas; Jockenhoevel, Stefan; Mela, Petra

    2016-08-01

    The mechanical properties of tissue-engineered heart valves still need to be improved to enable their implantation in the systemic circulation. The aim of this study is to develop a tissue-engineered valve for the aortic position - the BioTexValve - by exploiting a bio-inspired composite textile scaffold to confer native-like mechanical strength and anisotropy to the leaflets. This is achieved by multifilament fibers arranged similarly to the collagen bundles in the native aortic leaflet, fixed by a thin electrospun layer directly deposited on the pattern. The textile-based leaflets are positioned into a 3D mould where the components to form a fibrin gel containing human vascular smooth muscle cells are introduced. Upon fibrin polymerization, a complete valve is obtained. After 21 d of maturation by static and dynamic stimulation in a custom-made bioreactor, the valve shows excellent functionality under aortic pressure and flow conditions, as demonstrated by hydrodynamic tests performed according to ISO standards in a mock circulation system. The leaflets possess remarkable burst strength (1086 mmHg) while remaining pliable; pronounced extracellular matrix production is revealed by immunohistochemistry and biochemical assay. This study demonstrates the potential of bio-inspired textile-reinforcement for the fabrication of functional tissue-engineered heart valves for the aortic position. PMID:27377438

  9. A Fluid-solid Numerical Model for the Analysis of Bio-inspired UUV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitra, Santanu; Krishnamurthy, Nagendra; Tafti, Danesh; Priya, Shashank

    2012-11-01

    This research will describe how a biology-inspired approach to engineering has placed jellyfish at the center of efforts to build next-generation underwater vehicles. In order to swim, jellyfish contract the circular muscles that line the undersurface of their bell. The motion of the bell from the relaxed position to the fully contracted position results in the mesoglea interacting with the surrounding water in such a way that causes the jellyfish to move forward. The present method uses two-dimensional fluid elements and plain strain hyperelastic structural elements for the numerical simulation of the problem. The equations of motion of the fluid are expressed as full N-S equation. A new type of bio-inspired boundary condition has been proposed. A prototype of the jellyfish setup has been developed for the experimental validation of the simulation results. The solution of the coupled system is accomplished by solving the two systems separately with the interaction effects using immersed boundary method. This study will be useful in accurate calculation of pressure distribution, maximum blocking stress, strain rate and actuator system for submerged autonomous vehicle. This study will also help in designing efficient propulsion and thruster mechanism for unmanned underwater vehicle. It is believed that the research presented in this paper advances the understanding of the dynamic behavior of bio-inspired UUV.

  10. Gas barrier properties of bio-inspired Laponite-LC polymer hybrid films.

    PubMed

    Tritschler, Ulrich; Zlotnikov, Igor; Fratzl, Peter; Schlaad, Helmut; Grüner, Simon; Cölfen, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    Bio-inspired Laponite (clay)-liquid crystal (LC) polymer composite materials with high clay fractions (>80%) and a high level of orientation of the clay platelets, i.e. with structural features similar to the ones found in natural nacre, have been shown to exhibit a promising behavior in the context of reduced oxygen transmission. Key characteristics of these bio-inspired composite materials are their high inorganic content, high level of exfoliation and orientation of the clay platelets, and the use of a LC polymer forming the organic matrix in between the Laponite particles. Each single feature may be beneficial to increase the materials gas barrier property rendering this composite a promising system with advantageous barrier capacities. In this detailed study, Laponite/LC polymer composite coatings with different clay loadings were investigated regarding their oxygen transmission rate. The obtained gas barrier performance was linked to the quality, respective Laponite content and the underlying composite micro- and nanostructure of the coatings. Most efficient oxygen barrier properties were observed for composite coatings with 83% Laponite loading that exhibit a structure similar to sheet-like nacre. Further on, advantageous mechanical properties of these Laponite/LC polymer composites reported previously give rise to a multifunctional composite system. PMID:27225326

  11. Bio-inspired scale-like surface textures and their tribological properties.

    PubMed

    Greiner, Christian; Schäfer, Michael

    2015-08-01

    Friction, wear and the associated energy dissipation are major challenges in all systems containing moving parts. Examples range from nanoelectromechanical systems over hip prosthesis to off-shore wind turbines. Bionic approaches have proven to be very successful in many engineering problems, while investigating the potential of a bio-inspired approach in creating morphological surface textures is a relatively new field of research. Here, we developed laser-created textures inspired by the scales found on the skin of snakes and certain lizards. We show that this bio-inspired surface morphology reduced dry sliding friction forces by more than 40%. In lubricated contacts the same morphology increased friction by a factor of three. Two different kinds of morphologies, one with completely overlapping scales and one with the scales arranged in individual rows, were chosen. In lubricated as well as unlubricated contacts, the surface texture with the scales in rows showed lower friction forces than the completely overlapping ones. We anticipate that these results could have significant impact in all dry sliding contacts, ranging from nanoelectromechanical and micro-positioning systems up to large-scale tribological contacts which cannot be lubricated, e.g. because they are employed in a vacuum environment. PMID:26125522

  12. Study on the deformation of endothelial cells using a bio-inspired in vitro disease model.

    PubMed

    Seo, Eunseok; Seo, Kyung Won; Park, Ji-Won; Lee, Tae Geol; Lee, Sang Joon

    2015-03-01

    A bio-inspired in vitro disease model was developed to investigate the basic biophysics of atherosclerotic diseases. In vivo study was conducted in advance using zebrafish fed with a normal diet and a cholesterol-enriched diet. The endothelial cells (ECs) of the zebrafishes fed with a normal diet are tightly attached and aligned. Their collagen has a fiber-like structure. By contrast, the endothelial cells of the zebrafish on high cholesterol diet are disorganized and their collagen has broken structures. In vitro models of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were established on collagen films to mimic such in vivo experimental results. The normal collagen film simulates the extracellular matrix (ECM) in the blood vessels of a normal zebrafish, and the collagenase-treated collagen film mimics the ECM in blood vessels of an abnormal zebrafish. The HUVECs cultured on the normal collagen film are tightly attached, similar to those of a normal zebrafish. However, the cells cultured on the collagenase-treated collagen film are aggregated and biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction are expressed on the surface of the abnormal endothelial cells established on the denatured collagen film. The present in vitro model using a bio-inspired collagen film has a great potential for the design of novel therapies for clinical treatments of atherosclerosis through better understanding on the outbreak mechanism of atherosclerosis. PMID:24534068

  13. A new approach to tackle noise issue in miniature directional microphones: bio-inspired mechanical coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Haijun; Yu, Miao

    2010-04-01

    When using microphone array for sound source localization, the most fundamental step is to estimate the time difference of arrival (TDOA) between different microphones. Since TDOA is proportional to the microphone separation, the localization performance degrades with decreasing size relative to the sound wavelength. To address the size constraint of conventional directional microphones, a new approach is sought by utilizing the mechanical coupling mechanism found in the superacute ears of the parasitic fly Ormia ochracea. Previously, we have presented a novel bio-inspired directional microphone consisting of two circular clamped membranes structurally coupled by a center pivoted bridge, and demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally that the fly ear mechanism is replicable in a man-made structure. The emphasis of this article is on theoretical analysis of the thermal noise floor of the bio-inspired directional microphones. Using an equivalent two degrees-of-freedom model, the mechanical-thermal noise limit of the structurally coupled microphone is estimated and compared with those obtained for a single omni-directional microphone and a conventional microphone pair. Parametric studies are also conducted to investigate the effects of key normalized parameters on the noise floor and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).

  14. A novel angle computation and calibration algorithm of bio-inspired sky-light polarization navigation sensor.

    PubMed

    Xian, Zhiwen; Hu, Xiaoping; Lian, Junxiang; Zhang, Lilian; Cao, Juliang; Wang, Yujie; Ma, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Navigation plays a vital role in our daily life. As traditional and commonly used navigation technologies, Inertial Navigation System (INS) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) can provide accurate location information, but suffer from the accumulative error of inertial sensors and cannot be used in a satellite denied environment. The remarkable navigation ability of animals shows that the pattern of the polarization sky can be used for navigation. A bio-inspired POLarization Navigation Sensor (POLNS) is constructed to detect the polarization of skylight. Contrary to the previous approach, we utilize all the outputs of POLNS to compute input polarization angle, based on Least Squares, which provides optimal angle estimation. In addition, a new sensor calibration algorithm is presented, in which the installation angle errors and sensor biases are taken into consideration. Derivation and implementation of our calibration algorithm are discussed in detail. To evaluate the performance of our algorithms, simulation and real data test are done to compare our algorithms with several exiting algorithms. Comparison results indicate that our algorithms are superior to the others and are more feasible and effective in practice. PMID:25225872

  15. A Novel Angle Computation and Calibration Algorithm of Bio-Inspired Sky-Light Polarization Navigation Sensor

    PubMed Central

    Xian, Zhiwen; Hu, Xiaoping; Lian, Junxiang; Zhang, Lilian; Cao, Juliang; Wang, Yujie; Ma, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Navigation plays a vital role in our daily life. As traditional and commonly used navigation technologies, Inertial Navigation System (INS) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) can provide accurate location information, but suffer from the accumulative error of inertial sensors and cannot be used in a satellite denied environment. The remarkable navigation ability of animals shows that the pattern of the polarization sky can be used for navigation. A bio-inspired POLarization Navigation Sensor (POLNS) is constructed to detect the polarization of skylight. Contrary to the previous approach, we utilize all the outputs of POLNS to compute input polarization angle, based on Least Squares, which provides optimal angle estimation. In addition, a new sensor calibration algorithm is presented, in which the installation angle errors and sensor biases are taken into consideration. Derivation and implementation of our calibration algorithm are discussed in detail. To evaluate the performance of our algorithms, simulation and real data test are done to compare our algorithms with several exiting algorithms. Comparison results indicate that our algorithms are superior to the others and are more feasible and effective in practice. PMID:25225872

  16. Boronic Acid: A Bio-Inspired Strategy To Increase the Sensitivity and Selectivity of Fluorescent NADH Probe.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lu; Zhang, Jingye; Kim, Beomsue; Peng, Juanjuan; Berry, Stuart N; Ni, Yong; Su, Dongdong; Lee, Jungyeol; Yuan, Lin; Chang, Young-Tae

    2016-08-24

    Fluorescent probes have emerged as an essential tool in the molecular recognition events in biological systems; however, due to the complex structures of certain biomolecules, it remains a challenge to design small-molecule fluorescent probes with high sensitivity and selectivity. Inspired by the enzyme-catalyzed reaction between biomolecule and probe, we present a novel combination-reaction two-step sensing strategy to improve sensitivity and selectivity. Based on this strategy, we successfully prepared a turn-on fluorescent reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) probe, in which boronic acid was introduced to bind with NADH and subsequently accelerate the sensing process. This probe shows remarkably improved sensitivity (detection limit: 0.084 μM) and selectivity to NADH in the absence of any enzymes. In order to improve the practicality, the boronic acid was further modified to change the measurement conditions from alkalescent (pH 9.5) to physiological environment (pH 7.4). Utilizing these probes, we not only accurately quantified the NADH weight in a health care product but also evaluated intracellular NADH levels in live cell imaging. Thus, these bio-inspired fluorescent probes offer excellent tools for elucidating the roles of NADH in biological systems as well as a practical strategy to develop future sensitive and selective probes for complicated biomolecules. PMID:27500425

  17. A Bio-Inspired Approach for the Reduction of Left Ventricular Workload

    PubMed Central

    Pahlevan, Niema M.; Gharib, Morteza

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated the existence of optimization criteria in the design and development of mammalians cardiovascular systems. Similarities in mammalian arterial wave reflection suggest there are certain design criteria for the optimization of arterial wave dynamics. Inspired by these natural optimization criteria, we investigated the feasibility of optimizing the aortic waves by modifying wave reflection sites. A hydraulic model that has physical and dynamical properties similar to a human aorta and left ventricle was used for a series of in-vitro experiments. The results indicate that placing an artificial reflection site (a ring) at a specific location along the aorta may create a constructive wave dynamic that could reduce LV pulsatile workload. This simple bio-inspired approach may have important implications for the future of treatment strategies for diseased aorta. PMID:24475239

  18. A Bio-Inspired Memory Model Embedded with a Causality Reasoning Function for Structural Fault Location

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Wei; Wu, Chunxian

    2015-01-01

    Structural health monitoring (SHM) is challenged by massive data storage pressure and structural fault location. In response to these issues, a bio-inspired memory model that is embedded with a causality reasoning function is proposed for fault location. First, the SHM data for processing are divided into three temporal memory areas to control data volume reasonably. Second, the inherent potential of the causal relationships in structural state monitoring is mined. Causality and dependence indices are also proposed to establish the mechanism of quantitative description of the reason and result events. Third, a mechanism of causality reasoning is developed for the reason and result events to locate faults in a SHM system. Finally, a deformation experiment conducted on a steel spring plate demonstrates that the proposed model can be applied to real-time acquisition, compact data storage, and system fault location in a SHM system. Moreover, the model is compared with some typical methods based on an experimental benchmark dataset. PMID:25798991

  19. Hydrogels from Amorphous Calcium Carbonate and Polyacrylic Acid: Bio-Inspired Materials for "Mineral Plastics".

    PubMed

    Sun, Shengtong; Mao, Li-Bo; Lei, Zhouyue; Yu, Shu-Hong; Cölfen, Helmut

    2016-09-19

    Given increasing environmental issues due to the large usage of non-biodegradable plastics based on petroleum, new plastic materials, which are economic, environmentally friendly, and recyclable are in high demand. One feasible strategy is the bio-inspired synthesis of mineral-based hybrid materials. Herein we report a facile route for an amorphous CaCO3 (ACC)-based hydrogel consisting of very small ACC nanoparticles physically cross-linked by poly(acrylic acid). The hydrogel is shapeable, stretchable, and self-healable. Upon drying, the hydrogel forms free-standing, rigid, and transparent objects with remarkable mechanical performance. By swelling in water, the material can completely recover the initial hydrogel state. As a matrix, thermochromism can also be easily introduced. The present hybrid hydrogel may represent a new class of plastic materials, the "mineral plastics". PMID:27444970

  20. Segmentation algorithm via Cellular Neural/Nonlinear Network: implementation on Bio-inspired hardware platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karabiber, Fethullah; Vecchio, Pietro; Grassi, Giuseppe

    2011-12-01

    The Bio-inspired (Bi-i) Cellular Vision System is a computing platform consisting of sensing, array sensing-processing, and digital signal processing. The platform is based on the Cellular Neural/Nonlinear Network (CNN) paradigm. This article presents the implementation of a novel CNN-based segmentation algorithm onto the Bi-i system. Each part of the algorithm, along with the corresponding implementation on the hardware platform, is carefully described through the article. The experimental results, carried out for Foreman and Car-phone video sequences, highlight the feasibility of the approach, which provides a frame rate of about 26 frames/s. Comparisons with existing CNN-based methods show that the conceived approach is more accurate, thus representing a good trade-off between real-time requirements and accuracy.

  1. Distributed Synchronization Technique for OFDMA-Based Wireless Mesh Networks Using a Bio-Inspired Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Mi Jeong; Maeng, Sung Joon; Cho, Yong Soo

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, a distributed synchronization technique based on a bio-inspired algorithm is proposed for an orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA)-based wireless mesh network (WMN) with a time difference of arrival. The proposed time- and frequency-synchronization technique uses only the signals received from the neighbor nodes, by considering the effect of the propagation delay between the nodes. It achieves a fast synchronization with a relatively low computational complexity because it is operated in a distributed manner, not requiring any feedback channel for the compensation of the propagation delays. In addition, a self-organization scheme that can be effectively used to construct 1-hop neighbor nodes is proposed for an OFDMA-based WMN with a large number of nodes. The performance of the proposed technique is evaluated with regard to the convergence property and synchronization success probability using a computer simulation. PMID:26225974

  2. A Bio-Inspired Method for the Constrained Shortest Path Problem

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hongping; Lu, Xi; Wang, Qing

    2014-01-01

    The constrained shortest path (CSP) problem has been widely used in transportation optimization, crew scheduling, network routing and so on. It is an open issue since it is a NP-hard problem. In this paper, we propose an innovative method which is based on the internal mechanism of the adaptive amoeba algorithm. The proposed method is divided into two parts. In the first part, we employ the original amoeba algorithm to solve the shortest path problem in directed networks. In the second part, we combine the Physarum algorithm with a bio-inspired rule to deal with the CSP. Finally, by comparing the results with other method using an examples in DCLC problem, we demonstrate the accuracy of the proposed method. PMID:24959603

  3. A bio-inspired system for spatio-temporal recognition in static and video imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khosla, Deepak; Moore, Christopher K.; Chelian, Suhas

    2007-04-01

    This paper presents a bio-inspired method for spatio-temporal recognition in static and video imagery. It builds upon and extends our previous work on a bio-inspired Visual Attention and object Recognition System (VARS). The VARS approach locates and recognizes objects in a single frame. This work presents two extensions of VARS. The first extension is a Scene Recognition Engine (SCE) that learns to recognize spatial relationships between objects that compose a particular scene category in static imagery. This could be used for recognizing the category of a scene, e.g., office vs. kitchen scene. The second extension is the Event Recognition Engine (ERE) that recognizes spatio-temporal sequences or events in sequences. This extension uses a working memory model to recognize events and behaviors in video imagery by maintaining and recognizing ordered spatio-temporal sequences. The working memory model is based on an ARTSTORE1 neural network that combines an ART-based neural network with a cascade of sustained temporal order recurrent (STORE)1 neural networks. A series of Default ARTMAP classifiers ascribes event labels to these sequences. Our preliminary studies have shown that this extension is robust to variations in an object's motion profile. We evaluated the performance of the SCE and ERE on real datasets. The SCE module was tested on a visual scene classification task using the LabelMe2 dataset. The ERE was tested on real world video footage of vehicles and pedestrians in a street scene. Our system is able to recognize the events in this footage involving vehicles and pedestrians.

  4. A three dimensional unsteady iterative panel method with vortex particle wakes and boundary layer model for bio-inspired multi-body wings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhruv, Akash; Blower, Christopher; Wickenheiser, Adam M.

    2015-03-01

    The ability of UAVs to operate in complex and hostile environments makes them useful in military and civil operations concerning surveillance and reconnaissance. However, limitations in size of UAVs and communication delays prohibit their operation close to the ground and in cluttered environments, which increase risks associated with turbulence and wind gusts that cause trajectory deviations and potential loss of the vehicle. In the last decade, scientists and engineers have turned towards bio-inspiration to solve these issues by developing innovative flow control methods that offer better stability, controllability, and maneuverability. This paper presents an aerodynamic load solver for bio-inspired wings that consist of an array of feather-like flaps installed across the upper and lower surfaces in both the chord- and span-wise directions, mimicking the feathers of an avian wing. Each flap has the ability to rotate into both the wing body and the inbound airflow, generating complex flap configurations unobtainable by traditional wings that offer improved aerodynamic stability against gusting flows and turbulence. The solver discussed is an unsteady three-dimensional iterative doublet panel method with vortex particle wakes. This panel method models the wake-body interactions between multiple flaps effectively without the need to define specific wake geometries, thereby eliminating the need to manually model the wake for each configuration. To incorporate viscous flow characteristics, an iterative boundary layer theory is employed, modeling laminar, transitional and turbulent regions over the wing's surfaces, in addition to flow separation and reattachment locations. This technique enables the boundary layer to influence the wake strength and geometry both within the wing and aft of the trailing edge. The results obtained from this solver are validated using experimental data from a low-speed suction wind tunnel operating at Reynolds Number 300,000. This method

  5. A bio-inspired two-layer sensing structure of polypeptide and multiple-walled carbon nanotube to sense small molecular gases.

    PubMed

    Wang, Li-Chun; Su, Tseng-Hsiung; Ho, Cheng-Long; Yang, Shang-Ren; Chiu, Shih-Wen; Kuo, Han-Wen; Tang, Kea-Tiong

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a bio-inspired, two-layer, multiple-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-polypeptide composite sensing device. The MWCNT serves as a responsive and conductive layer, and the nonselective polypeptide (40 mer) coating the top of the MWCNT acts as a filter into which small molecular gases pass. Instead of using selective peptides to sense specific odorants, we propose using nonselective, peptide-based sensors to monitor various types of volatile organic compounds. In this study, depending on gas interaction and molecular sizes, the randomly selected polypeptide enabled the recognition of certain polar volatile chemical vapors, such as amines, and the improved discernment of low-concentration gases. The results of our investigation demonstrated that the polypeptide-coated sensors can detect ammonia at a level of several hundred ppm and barely responded to triethylamine. PMID:25751078

  6. A Bio-Inspired Two-Layer Sensing Structure of Polypeptide and Multiple-Walled Carbon Nanotube to Sense Small Molecular Gases

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Li-Chun; Su, Tseng-Hsiung; Ho, Cheng-Long; Yang, Shang-Ren; Chiu, Shih-Wen; Kuo, Han-Wen; Tang, Kea-Tiong

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a bio-inspired, two-layer, multiple-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-polypeptide composite sensing device. The MWCNT serves as a responsive and conductive layer, and the nonselective polypeptide (40 mer) coating the top of the MWCNT acts as a filter into which small molecular gases pass. Instead of using selective peptides to sense specific odorants, we propose using nonselective, peptide-based sensors to monitor various types of volatile organic compounds. In this study, depending on gas interaction and molecular sizes, the randomly selected polypeptide enabled the recognition of certain polar volatile chemical vapors, such as amines, and the improved discernment of low-concentration gases. The results of our investigation demonstrated that the polypeptide-coated sensors can detect ammonia at a level of several hundred ppm and barely responded to triethylamine. PMID:25751078

  7. Combined bio-inspired/evolutionary computational methods in cross-layer protocol optimization for wireless ad hoc sensor networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hortos, William S.

    2011-06-01

    Published studies have focused on the application of one bio-inspired or evolutionary computational method to the functions of a single protocol layer in a wireless ad hoc sensor network (WSN). For example, swarm intelligence in the form of ant colony optimization (ACO), has been repeatedly considered for the routing of data/information among nodes, a network-layer function, while genetic algorithms (GAs) have been used to select transmission frequencies and power levels, physical-layer functions. Similarly, artificial immune systems (AISs) as well as trust models of quantized data reputation have been invoked for detection of network intrusions that cause anomalies in data and information; these act on the application and presentation layers. Most recently, a self-organizing scheduling scheme inspired by frog-calling behavior for reliable data transmission in wireless sensor networks, termed anti-phase synchronization, has been applied to realize collision-free transmissions between neighboring nodes, a function of the MAC layer. In a novel departure from previous work, the cross-layer approach to WSN protocol design suggests applying more than one evolutionary computational method to the functions of the appropriate layers to improve the QoS performance of the cross-layer design beyond that of one method applied to a single layer's functions. A baseline WSN protocol design, embedding GAs, anti-phase synchronization, ACO, and a trust model based on quantized data reputation at the physical, MAC, network, and application layers, respectively, is constructed. Simulation results demonstrate the synergies among the bioinspired/ evolutionary methods of the proposed baseline design improve the overall QoS performance of networks over that of a single computational method.

  8. Bio-Inspired Molecular Catalysts for Hydrogen Oxidation and Hydrogen Production

    SciTech Connect

    Ho, Ming-Hsun; Chen, Shentan; Rousseau, Roger J.; Dupuis, Michel; Bullock, R. Morris; Raugei, Simone

    2013-06-03

    Recent advances in Ni-based bio-inspired catalysts obtained in the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, demonstrated the possibility of cleaving H2 or generating H2 heterolytically with turnover frequencies comparable or superior to those of hydrogenase enzymes. In these catalysts the transformation between H2 and protons proceeds via an interplay between proton, hydride and electron transfer steps and involves the interaction of a dihydrogen molecule with both a Ni(II) center and with pendant amine bases incorporated in a six-membered ring, which act as proton relays. These catalytic platforms are well designed in that when protons are correctly positioned (endo) toward the Raugei-ACS-Books.docxPrinted 12/18/12 2 metal center, catalysis proceeds at very high rates. We will show that the proton removal (for H2 oxidation) and proton delivery (for H2 production) are often the rate determining steps. Furthermore, the presence of multiple protonation sites gives rise to reaction intermediates with protons not correctly positioned (exo relative to the metal center). These isomers are easily accessible kinetically and are detrimental to catalysis because of the slow isomerization processes necessary to convert them to the catalytically competent endo isomers. In this chapter we will review the major findings of our computational investigation on the role of proton relays for H2 chemistry and provide guidelines for the design of new catalysts. This research was carried out in the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Battelle. Computational resources were provided at W. R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory (EMSL), a Raugei-Bio-Inspired Molecular-Catalysts-for-Hydrogen- Oxidation

  9. Surgical robotics: A look-back of latest advancement and bio-inspired ways to tackle existing challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yang; Liu, Jing

    2012-12-01

    This article is dedicated to present a review on existing challenges and latest developments in surgical robotics in attempts to overcome the obstacles lying behind. Rather than to perform an exhaustive evaluation, we would emphasize more on the new insight by digesting the emerging bio-inspired surgical technologies with potentials to revolutionize the field. Typical approaches, possible applications, advantages and technical challenges were discussed. Evolutions of surgical robotics and future trends were analyzed. It can be found that, the major difficulties in the field of surgical robots may not be properly addressed by only using conventional approaches. As an alternative, bio-inspired methods or materials may shed light on new innovations. While endeavors to deal with existing strategies still need to be made, attentions should be paid to also borrow ideas from nature.

  10. Bio-Inspired Aggregation Control of Carbon Nanotubes for Ultra-Strong Composites.

    PubMed

    Han, Yue; Zhang, Xiaohua; Yu, Xueping; Zhao, Jingna; Li, Shan; Liu, Feng; Gao, Peng; Zhang, Yongyi; Zhao, Tong; Li, Qingwen

    2015-01-01

    High performance nanocomposites require well dispersion and high alignment of the nanometer-sized components, at a high mass or volume fraction as well. However, the road towards such composite structure is severely hindered due to the easy aggregation of these nanometer-sized components. Here we demonstrate a big step to approach the ideal composite structure for carbon nanotube (CNT) where all the CNTs were highly packed, aligned, and unaggregated, with the impregnated polymers acting as interfacial adhesions and mortars to build up the composite structure. The strategy was based on a bio-inspired aggregation control to limit the CNT aggregation to be sub 20-50 nm, a dimension determined by the CNT growth. After being stretched with full structural relaxation in a multi-step way, the CNT/polymer (bismaleimide) composite yielded super-high tensile strengths up to 6.27-6.94 GPa, more than 100% higher than those of carbon fiber/epoxy composites, and toughnesses up to 117-192 MPa. We anticipate that the present study can be generalized for developing multifunctional and smart nanocomposites where all the surfaces of nanometer-sized components can take part in shear transfer of mechanical, thermal, and electrical signals. PMID:26098627

  11. Mechanical properties of a bio-inspired robotic knifefish with an undulatory propulsor.

    PubMed

    Curet, Oscar M; Patankar, Neelesh A; Lauder, George V; MacIver, Malcolm A

    2011-06-01

    South American electric knifefish are a leading model system within neurobiology. Recent efforts have focused on understanding their biomechanics and relating this to their neural processing strategies. Knifefish swim by means of an undulatory fin that runs most of the length of their body, affixed to the belly. Propelling themselves with this fin enables them to keep their body relatively straight while swimming, enabling straightforward robotic implementation with a rigid hull. In this study, we examined the basic properties of undulatory swimming through use of a robot that was similar in some key respects to the knifefish. As we varied critical fin kinematic variables such as frequency, amplitude, and wavelength of sinusoidal traveling waves, we measured the force generated by the robot when it swam against a stationary sensor, and its velocity while swimming freely within a flow tunnel system. Our results show that there is an optimal operational region in the fin's kinematic parameter space. The optimal actuation parameters found for the robotic knifefish are similar to previously observed parameters for the black ghost knifefish, Apteronotus albifrons. Finally, we used our experimental results to show how the force generated by the robotic fin can be decomposed into thrust and drag terms. Our findings are useful for future bio-inspired underwater vehicles as well as for understanding the mechanics of knifefish swimming. PMID:21474864

  12. Bio-Inspired Aggregation Control of Carbon Nanotubes for Ultra-Strong Composites

    PubMed Central

    Han, Yue; Zhang, Xiaohua; Yu, Xueping; Zhao, Jingna; Li, Shan; Liu, Feng; Gao, Peng; Zhang, Yongyi; Zhao, Tong; Li, Qingwen

    2015-01-01

    High performance nanocomposites require well dispersion and high alignment of the nanometer-sized components, at a high mass or volume fraction as well. However, the road towards such composite structure is severely hindered due to the easy aggregation of these nanometer-sized components. Here we demonstrate a big step to approach the ideal composite structure for carbon nanotube (CNT) where all the CNTs were highly packed, aligned, and unaggregated, with the impregnated polymers acting as interfacial adhesions and mortars to build up the composite structure. The strategy was based on a bio-inspired aggregation control to limit the CNT aggregation to be sub 20–50 nm, a dimension determined by the CNT growth. After being stretched with full structural relaxation in a multi-step way, the CNT/polymer (bismaleimide) composite yielded super-high tensile strengths up to 6.27–6.94 GPa, more than 100% higher than those of carbon fiber/epoxy composites, and toughnesses up to 117–192 MPa. We anticipate that the present study can be generalized for developing multifunctional and smart nanocomposites where all the surfaces of nanometer-sized components can take part in shear transfer of mechanical, thermal, and electrical signals. PMID:26098627

  13. Bio-inspired catechol chemistry for electrophoretic nanotechnology of oxide films.

    PubMed

    Wang, Y; Zhitomirsky, I

    2012-08-15

    Bio-inspired chemical approach has been developed for the surface modification and electrophoretic deposition of manganese dioxide and zirconia nanoparticles, prepared by chemical precipitation methods. Caffeic acid, trans-cinnamic acid, p-coumaric acid, and 2,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid were investigated for the surface modification of the nanoparticles. The influence of the structure of the organic molecules on their adsorption on the oxide nanoparticles has been investigated. The mechanism of caffeic acid adsorption was similar to that of natural catecholic amino acid, L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine. The use of caffeic acid allowed for agglomerate-free synthesis, efficient dispersion, charging, electrophoretic deposition and co-deposition of manganese dioxide and zirconia nanoparticles. The deposition yield data, coupled with the results of thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction analysis, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, showed that surface chemistry, rather than the crystal structure, determined the adsorption behavior. Electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy investigations showed the formation of nanostructured oxide films and composites. The deposit composition can be varied. PMID:22652591

  14. A bio-inspired aquatic flow sensor using an artificial cell membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinto, Preston A.; Garrison, Kevin; Leo, Donald J.; Sarles, Stephen A.

    2012-04-01

    Receptors known as hair cells give many animals this ability to sense a wide range of stimuli, such as sound, orientation, vibration, and flow. Previous researchers have mimicked natural hair cells by building electromechanical sensor systems that produce an electric response due to the bending of artificial hairs. Inspired by the roles of sensory hairs in fish, this work builds on previous research by investigating the flow dependent electrical response of a 'skin'-encapsulated artificial hair cell in an aqueous flow. This study presents the design, fabrication, and characterization of a flow sensor that will help close the loop between the sensing mechanisms and control strategies that aquatic organisms employ for functions such as locomotion regulation, prey capture, and particulate capture. The system is fabricated with a durable, artificial bilayer that forms at the interface between lipid-encased aqueous volumes contained in a flexible encapsulated polyurethane substrate. Flow experiments are conducted by placing the bio-inspired sensor in a flow chamber and subjecting it to pulse-like flows. Specifically, through temporal responses of the measured current and power spectral density (PSD) analysis, our results show that the amplitude and frequency of the current response are related to the flow over the hair. This preliminary study demonstrates that the encapsulated artificial hair cell flow sensor is capable of sensing changes in flow through a mechanoelectrical response and that its sensing capabilities may be altered by varying its surface morphology.

  15. Hair flow sensors: from bio-inspiration to bio-mimicking—a review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Junliang; (Bill Yu, Xiong

    2012-11-01

    A great many living beings, such as aquatics and arthropods, are equipped with highly sensitive flow sensors to help them survive in challenging environments. These sensors are excellent sources of inspiration for developing application-driven artificial flow sensors with high sensitivity and performance. This paper reviews the bio-inspirations on flow sensing in nature and the bio-mimicking efforts to emulate such sensing mechanisms in recent years. The natural flow sensing systems in aquatics and arthropods are reviewed to highlight inspirations at multiple levels such as morphology, sensing mechanism and information processing. Biomimetic hair flow sensors based on different sensing mechanisms and fabrication technologies are also reviewed to capture the recent accomplishments and to point out areas where further progress is necessary. Biomimetic flow sensors are still in their early stages. Further efforts are required to unveil the sensing mechanisms in the natural biological systems and to achieve multi-level bio-mimicking of the natural system to develop their artificial counterparts.

  16. Harnessing Electrostatic Forces to Grow Bio-inspired Hierarchical Vascular Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behler, Kristopher; Melrose, Zachary; Schott, Andrew; Wetzel, Eric

    2012-02-01

    Vascular networks provide a system for fluid distribution. Artificial vascular materials with enhanced properties are currently being developed that could ultimately be integrated into systems reliant upon fluid transport while retaining their structural properties. An uninterrupted and controllable supply of liquid is optimal for many applications such as continual self-healing materials, in-situ delivery of index matched fluids, thermal management and drug delivery systems could benefit from a bio-inspired vascular approach that combines complex network geometries with minimal processing parameters. Two such approaches to induce vascular networks are electrohydrodynamic viscous fingering (EHVF) and electrical treeing (ET). EHVF is a phenomenon that occurs when a low viscosity liquid is forced through a high viscosity fluid or matrix, resulting in branches due to capillary and viscous forces in the high viscosity material. By applying voltages of 0 -- 60 kV, finger diameter is reduced. ET is the result of partial discharges in a dielectric material. In the vicinity of a small diameter electrode, the local electric field is greater than the global dielectric strength, causing a localized, step-wise, breakdown to occur forming a highly branched interconnected structure. ET is a viable method to produce networks on a smaller, micron, scale than the products of the EHVF method.

  17. Soft network composite materials with deterministic and bio-inspired designs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jang, Kyung-In; Chung, Ha Uk; Xu, Sheng; Lee, Chi Hwan; Luan, Haiwen; Jeong, Jaewoong; Cheng, Huanyu; Kim, Gwang-Tae; Han, Sang Youn; Lee, Jung Woo; Kim, Jeonghyun; Cho, Moongee; Miao, Fuxing; Yang, Yiyuan; Jung, Han Na; Flavin, Matthew; Liu, Howard; Kong, Gil Woo; Yu, Ki Jun; Rhee, Sang Il; Chung, Jeahoon; Kim, Byunggik; Kwak, Jean Won; Yun, Myoung Hee; Kim, Jin Young; Song, Young Min; Paik, Ungyu; Zhang, Yihui; Huang, Yonggang; Rogers, John A.

    2015-03-01

    Hard and soft structural composites found in biology provide inspiration for the design of advanced synthetic materials. Many examples of bio-inspired hard materials can be found in the literature; far less attention has been devoted to soft systems. Here we introduce deterministic routes to low-modulus thin film materials with stress/strain responses that can be tailored precisely to match the non-linear properties of biological tissues, with application opportunities that range from soft biomedical devices to constructs for tissue engineering. The approach combines a low-modulus matrix with an open, stretchable network as a structural reinforcement that can yield classes of composites with a wide range of desired mechanical responses, including anisotropic, spatially heterogeneous, hierarchical and self-similar designs. Demonstrative application examples in thin, skin-mounted electrophysiological sensors with mechanics precisely matched to the human epidermis and in soft, hydrogel-based vehicles for triggered drug release suggest their broad potential uses in biomedical devices.

  18. Bio-inspired Dynamic Gradients Regulated by Supramolecular Bindings in Receptor-Embedded Hydrogel Matrices.

    PubMed

    Luan, Xinglong; Zhang, Yihe; Wu, Jing; Jonkheijm, Pascal; Li, Guangtao; Jiang, Lei; Huskens, Jurriaan; An, Qi

    2016-08-01

    The kinetics of supramolecular bindings are fundamentally important for molecular motions and spatial-temporal distributions in biological systems, but have rarely been employed in preparing artificial materials. This report proposes a bio-inspired concept to regulate dynamic gradients through the coupled supramolecular binding and diffusion process in receptor-embedded hydrogel matrices. A new type of hydrogel that uses cyclodextrin (CD) as both the gelling moiety and the receptors is prepared as the diffusion matrices. The diffusible guest, 4-aminoazobenzene, quickly and reversibly binds to matrices-bound CD during diffusion and generates steeper gradients than regular diffusion. Weakened bindings induced through UV irradiation extend the gradients. Combined with numerical simulation, these results indicate that the coupled binding-diffusion could be viewed as slowed diffusion, regulated jointly by the binding constant and the equilibrium receptor concentrations, and gradients within a bio-relevant extent of 4 mm are preserved up to 90 h. This report should inspire design strategies of biomedical or cell-culturing materials. PMID:27547643

  19. Soft network composite materials with deterministic and bio-inspired designs

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Kyung-In; Chung, Ha Uk; Xu, Sheng; Lee, Chi Hwan; Luan, Haiwen; Jeong, Jaewoong; Cheng, Huanyu; Kim, Gwang-Tae; Han, Sang Youn; Lee, Jung Woo; Kim, Jeonghyun; Cho, Moongee; Miao, Fuxing; Yang, Yiyuan; Jung, Han Na; Flavin, Matthew; Liu, Howard; Kong, Gil Woo; Yu, Ki Jun; Rhee, Sang Il; Chung, Jeahoon; Kim, Byunggik; Kwak, Jean Won; Yun, Myoung Hee; Kim, Jin Young; Song, Young Min; Paik, Ungyu; Zhang, Yihui; Huang, Yonggang; Rogers, John A.

    2015-01-01

    Hard and soft structural composites found in biology provide inspiration for the design of advanced synthetic materials. Many examples of bio-inspired hard materials can be found in the literature; far less attention has been devoted to soft systems. Here we introduce deterministic routes to low-modulus thin film materials with stress/strain responses that can be tailored precisely to match the non-linear properties of biological tissues, with application opportunities that range from soft biomedical devices to constructs for tissue engineering. The approach combines a low-modulus matrix with an open, stretchable network as a structural reinforcement that can yield classes of composites with a wide range of desired mechanical responses, including anisotropic, spatially heterogeneous, hierarchical and self-similar designs. Demonstrative application examples in thin, skin-mounted electrophysiological sensors with mechanics precisely matched to the human epidermis and in soft, hydrogel-based vehicles for triggered drug release suggest their broad potential uses in biomedical devices. PMID:25782446

  20. Bio-inspired in situ crosslinking and mineralization of electrospun collagen scaffolds for bone tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Dhand, Chetna; Ong, Seow Theng; Dwivedi, Neeraj; Diaz, Silvia Marrero; Venugopal, Jayarama Reddy; Navaneethan, Balchandar; Fazil, Mobashar H U T; Liu, Shouping; Seitz, Vera; Wintermantel, Erich; Beuerman, Roger W; Ramakrishna, Seeram; Verma, Navin K; Lakshminarayanan, Rajamani

    2016-10-01

    Bone disorders are the most common cause of severe long term pain and physical disability, and affect millions of people around the world. In the present study, we report bio-inspired preparation of bone-like composite structures by electrospinning of collagen containing catecholamines and Ca(2+). The presence of divalent cation induces simultaneous partial oxidative polymerization of catecholamines and crosslinking of collagen nanofibers, thus producing mats that are mechanically robust and confer photoluminescence properties. Subsequent mineralization of the mats by ammonium carbonate leads to complete oxidative polymerization of catecholamines and precipitation of amorphous CaCO3. The collagen composite scaffolds display outstanding mechanical properties with Young's modulus approaching the limits of cancellous bone. Biological studies demonstrate that human fetal osteoblasts seeded on to the composite scaffolds display enhanced cell adhesion, penetration, proliferation, differentiation and osteogenic expression of osteocalcin, osteopontin and bone matrix protein when compared to pristine collagen or tissue culture plates. Among the two catecholamines, mats containing norepinephrine displayed superior mechanical, photoluminescence and biological properties than mats loaded with dopamine. These smart multifunctional scaffolds could potentially be utilized to repair and regenerate bone defects and injuries. PMID:27475728

  1. Bio-inspired adaptive feedback error learning architecture for motor control.

    PubMed

    Tolu, Silvia; Vanegas, Mauricio; Luque, Niceto R; Garrido, Jesús A; Ros, Eduardo

    2012-10-01

    This study proposes an adaptive control architecture based on an accurate regression method called Locally Weighted Projection Regression (LWPR) and on a bio-inspired module, such as a cerebellar-like engine. This hybrid architecture takes full advantage of the machine learning module (LWPR kernel) to abstract an optimized representation of the sensorimotor space while the cerebellar component integrates this to generate corrective terms in the framework of a control task. Furthermore, we illustrate how the use of a simple adaptive error feedback term allows to use the proposed architecture even in the absence of an accurate analytic reference model. The presented approach achieves an accurate control with low gain corrective terms (for compliant control schemes). We evaluate the contribution of the different components of the proposed scheme comparing the obtained performance with alternative approaches. Then, we show that the presented architecture can be used for accurate manipulation of different objects when their physical properties are not directly known by the controller. We evaluate how the scheme scales for simulated plants of high Degrees of Freedom (7-DOFs). PMID:22907270

  2. Converging the capabilities of EAP artificial muscles and the requirements of bio-inspired robotics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanson, David F.; White, Victor

    2004-07-01

    The characteristics of Electro-actuated polymers (EAP) are typically considered inadequate for applications in robotics. But in recent years, there has been both dramatic increases in EAP technological capbilities and reductions in power requirements for actuating bio-inspired robotics. As the two trends continue to converge, one may anticipate that dramatic breakthroughs in biologically inspired robotic actuation will result due to the marraige of these technologies. This talk will provide a snapshot of how EAP actuator scientists and roboticists may work together on a common platform to accelerate the growth of both technologies. To demonstrate this concept of a platform to accelerate this convergence, the authors will discuss their work in the niche application of robotic facial expression. In particular, expressive robots appear to be within the range of EAP actuation, thanks to their low force requirements. Several robots will be shown that demonstrate realistic expressions with dramatically decreased force requirements. Also, detailed descriptions will be given of the engineering innovations that have enabled these robotics advancements-most notably, Structured-Porosity Elastomer Materials (SPEMs). SPEM manufacturing techniques create delicate cell-structures in a variety of elastomers that maintain the high elongation characteristics of the mother material, but because of the porisity, behave as sponge-materials, thus lower the force required to emulate facial expressions to levels output by several extant EAP actuators.

  3. Bio-inspired co-catalysts bonded to a silicon photocathode for solar hydrogen evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Yidong; Abrams, Billie L.; Vesborg, Peter C. K.; Bjørketun, Mårten E.; Herbst, Konrad; Bech, Lone; Seger, Brian; Pedersen, Thomas; Hansen, Ole; Rossmeisl, Jan; Dahl, Søren; Nørskov, Jens K.; Chorkendorff, Ib

    2011-10-01

    The production of fuels directly or indirectly from sunlight represents one of the major challenges to the development of a sustainable energy system. Hydrogen is the simplest fuel to produce and while platinum and other noble metals are efficient catalysts for photoelectrochemical hydrogen evolution, earth-abundant alternatives are needed for largescale use. We show that bio-inspired molecular clusters based on molybdenum sulfides and tungsten sulfides mimic nature's enzymes for hydrogen evolution, molybdenum sulfides evolve hydrogen at a slightly higher overpotential than platinum when deposited on various supports. It will be demonstrated how this overpotential can be eliminated by depositing the same type of hydrogen evolution catalyst on p-type Si which can harvest the red part of the solar spectrum. Such a system could constitute the cathode part of a tandem dream device where the red part of the spectrum is utilized for hydrogen evolution while the blue part is reserved for the more difficult oxygen evolution. The samples have been illuminated with a simulated red part of the solar spectrum i.e. long wavelength (" > 620 nm) part of simulated AM 1.5G radiation. The current densities at the reversible potential match the requirement of a photoelectrochemical hydrogen production system with a solar-to-hydrogen efficiency in excess of 10%. The experimental observations are supported by DFT calculations of the Mo3S4 cluster adsorbed on the hydrogen-terminated silicon surface providing insights into the nature of the active site.

  4. Bio-inspired hard-to-soft interface for implant integration to bone

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yan; Snead, Malcolm L.; Tamerler, Candan

    2014-01-01

    Accomplishing full, functional integration at the host-to-biomaterial interface has been a critical roadblock in engineering implants with performance similar to biological materials. Molecular recognition-based self-assembly, coupled with biochemical signaling, may lead to controllable and predictable cellular differentiation at the implant interface. Here, we engineer a bio-inspired interface built upon a chimeric peptide. Binding to the biomaterial interface is achieved using a molecular recognition domain specific for the titanium/titanium alloy implant surface and a biochemical signal guiding stem cells to differentiate by activating the Wnt signaling pathway for bone formation. During a critical period of host cell growth and determination, the bioactive implant interface signals mouse, as well as human, stem cells to differentiate along osteogenic lineages. The Wnt-induced cells show enhanced mineral deposition in an extracellular matrix of their creation and an enhanced gene expression profile consistent with osteogenesis, thereby providing a bone-to-implant interface that promotes bone regeneration. PMID:25461292

  5. A compact bio-inspired visible/NIR imager for image-guided surgery (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Shengkui; Garcia, Missael; Edmiston, Chris; York, Timothy; Marinov, Radoslav; Mondal, Suman B.; Zhu, Nan; Sudlow, Gail P.; Akers, Walter J.; Margenthaler, Julie A.; Liang, Rongguang; Pepino, Marta; Achilefu, Samuel; Gruev, Viktor

    2016-03-01

    Inspired by the visual system of the morpho butterfly, we have designed, fabricated, tested and clinically translated an ultra-sensitive, light weight and compact imaging sensor capable of simultaneously capturing near infrared (NIR) and visible spectrum information. The visual system of the morpho butterfly combines photosensitive cells with spectral filters at the receptor level. The spectral filters are realized by alternating layers of high and low dielectric constant, such as air and cytoplasm. We have successfully mimicked this concept by integrating pixelated spectral filters, realized by alternating silicon dioxide and silicon nitrate layers, with an array of CCD detectors. There are four different types of pixelated spectral filters in the imaging plane: red, green, blue and NIR. The high optical density (OD) of all spectral filters (OD>4) allow for efficient rejections of photons from unwanted bands. The single imaging chip weighs 20 grams with form factor of 5mm by 5mm. The imaging camera is integrated with a goggle display system. A tumor targeted agent, LS301, is used to identify all spontaneous tumors in a transgenic PyMT murine model of breast cancer. The imaging system achieved sensitivity of 98% and selectivity of 95%. We also used our imaging sensor to locate sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) in patients with breast cancer using indocyanine green tracer. The surgeon was able to identify 100% of SLNs when using our bio-inspired imaging system, compared to 93% when using information from the lymphotropic dye and 96% when using information from the radioactive tracer.

  6. Synthesis of bio-inspired multilayer polarizers and their application to anti-counterfeiting.

    PubMed

    Poncelet, O; Tallier, G; Simonis, P; Cornet, A; Francis, L A

    2015-04-01

    Some insects, such as Papilio blumei and Suneve coronata, are known for exhibiting polarization effects on light such as color contrast or geometrical polarization rotation by reflection on their wing scales. The photonic structures found on these species that show these properties are multilayered spherical cavities or triangular grooves which polarize the light due to multiple inner reflections. These polarization effects, in addition to the intrinsic color-mixing properties of these photonic structures, are of interest in the anti-counterfeiting field due to their invisibility to the naked eye. In this paper, we report micro-fabrication techniques to produce bio-inspired cylindrical grooves (C-grooves) and triangular grooves (V-grooves) that demonstrate the same properties. Theoretical analyses were carried out by using multi-scale simulation (MS) as well as by finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) in order to compare the polarization capability of both structures. The V-grooves show greater polarization contrast than the C-grooves, but the spectrum is specular. The C-grooves exhibit lower polarization effects but have a dispersive spectrum. In both cases, the structures show additional optical properties, such as diffraction, macroscopic color contrast under a polarizer, and contrast inversion due to geometries which contribute to their uniqueness. PMID:25717055

  7. Light Manipulation for Organic Optoelectronics Using Bio-inspired Moth's Eye Nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Lei; Ou, Qing-Dong; Chen, Jing-De; Shen, Su; Tang, Jian-Xin; Li, Yan-Qing; Lee, Shuit-Tong

    2014-02-01

    Organic-based optoelectronic devices, including light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and solar cells (OSCs) hold great promise as low-cost and large-area electro-optical devices and renewable energy sources. However, further improvement in efficiency remains a daunting challenge due to limited light extraction or absorption in conventional device architectures. Here we report a universal method of optical manipulation of light by integrating a dual-side bio-inspired moth's eye nanostructure with broadband anti-reflective and quasi-omnidirectional properties. Light out-coupling efficiency of OLEDs with stacked triple emission units is over 2 times that of a conventional device, resulting in drastic increase in external quantum efficiency and current efficiency to 119.7% and 366 cd A-1 without introducing spectral distortion and directionality. Similarly, the light in-coupling efficiency of OSCs is increased 20%, yielding an enhanced power conversion efficiency of 9.33%. We anticipate this method would offer a convenient and scalable way for inexpensive and high-efficiency organic optoelectronic designs.

  8. Pushing the lipid envelope: using bio-inspired nanocomposites to understand and exploit lipid membrane limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montano, Gabriel

    Lipids serve as the organizing matrix material for biological membranes, the site of interaction of cells with the external environment. . As such, lipids play a critical role in structure/function relationships of an extraordinary number of critical biological processes. In this talk, we will look at bio-inspired membrane assemblies to better understand the roles of lipids in biological systems as well as attempt to generate materials that can mimic and potentially advance upon biological membrane processes. First, we will investigate the response of lipids to adverse conditions. In particular, I will present data that demonstrates the response of lipids to harsh conditions and how such responses can be exploited to generate nanocomposite rearrangements. I will also show the effect of adding the endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to lipid bilayer assemblies and describe implications on our understanding of LPS organization in biological systems as well as describe induced lipid modifications that can be exploited to organize membrane composites with precise, two-dimensional geometric control. Lastly, I will describe the use of amphiphilic block copolymers to create membrane nanocomposites capable of mimicking biological systems. In particular, I will describe the use of our polymer-based membranes in creating artificial photosynthetic assemblies that rival biological systems in function in a more flexible, dynamic matrix.

  9. Light Manipulation for Organic Optoelectronics Using Bio-inspired Moth's Eye Nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Lei; Ou, Qing-Dong; Chen, Jing-De; Shen, Su; Tang, Jian-Xin; Li, Yan-Qing; Lee, Shuit-Tong

    2014-01-01

    Organic-based optoelectronic devices, including light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and solar cells (OSCs) hold great promise as low-cost and large-area electro-optical devices and renewable energy sources. However, further improvement in efficiency remains a daunting challenge due to limited light extraction or absorption in conventional device architectures. Here we report a universal method of optical manipulation of light by integrating a dual-side bio-inspired moth's eye nanostructure with broadband anti-reflective and quasi-omnidirectional properties. Light out-coupling efficiency of OLEDs with stacked triple emission units is over 2 times that of a conventional device, resulting in drastic increase in external quantum efficiency and current efficiency to 119.7% and 366 cd A−1 without introducing spectral distortion and directionality. Similarly, the light in-coupling efficiency of OSCs is increased 20%, yielding an enhanced power conversion efficiency of 9.33%. We anticipate this method would offer a convenient and scalable way for inexpensive and high-efficiency organic optoelectronic designs. PMID:24509524

  10. Photo-crosslinking, bio-inspired terpolymer adhesives intended for medical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harper, Tristan

    A bio-inspired, modular terpolymer adhesive has been synthesized containing three different functionalities: a photocrosslinking segment, wet adhesion segment, and a water soluble segment. Wet adhesion is brought on by an amino acid from mussel byssal plaques called 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl--L-alanine, which has been known to generate strong bonding under wet conditions. The photocrosslinking segment consists of an anthracene based monomer used for mechanical fortification of polymer chains. The water soluble segment consists of poly(acrylic acid), which has been known to increase water solubility of polymers and increase adhesion strength of adhesives. The terpolymer was designed to easily applicable using biologically friendly solvents including water and ethanol. Structural design was confirmed by NMR and UV-Vis spectroscopy. Reversible cycloaddition reactions were executed using a handheld UV lamp along with a photoreactor. Molecular weight increases were seen from 4.120 x 104 Da to 7.429 x 104 Da. Lap shear strength testing showed effects of UV exposure through increases in adhesion energy above 450%. Multiple application variables were tested to determine optimal conditions, such as solvent, concentration, and substrate. Currently, optimal conditions show a 1:1 weight ratio of polymer:solvent in water for all surfaces.

  11. A wireless fatigue monitoring system utilizing a bio-inspired tree ring data tracking technique.

    PubMed

    Bai, Shi; Li, Xuan; Xie, Zhaohui; Zhou, Zhi; Ou, Jinping

    2014-01-01

    Fatigue, a hot scientific research topic for centuries, can trigger sudden failure of critical structures such as aircraft and railway systems, resulting in enormous casualties as well as economic losses. The fatigue life of certain structures is intrinsically random and few monitoring techniques are capable of tracking the full life-cycle fatigue damage. In this paper, a novel in-situ wireless real-time fatigue monitoring system using a bio-inspired tree ring data tracking technique is proposed. The general framework, methodology, and verification of this intelligent system are discussed in details. The rain-flow counting (RFC) method is adopted as the core algorithm which quantifies fatigue damages, and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is introduced as the core module for data collection and analysis. Laboratory test results based on strain gauges and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) sensors have shown that the developed intelligent system can provide a reliable quick feedback and early warning of fatigue failure. With the merits of low cost, high accuracy and great reliability, the developed wireless fatigue sensing system can be further applied to mechanical engineering, civil infrastructures, transportation systems, aerospace engineering, etc. PMID:24603635

  12. Bio-inspired direct patterning functional nanothin microlines: controllable liquid transfer.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qianbin; Meng, Qingan; Wang, Pengwei; Liu, Huan; Jiang, Lei

    2015-04-28

    Developing a general and low-cost strategy that enables direct patterning of microlines with nanometer thickness from versatile liquid-phase functional materials and precise positioning of them on various substrates remains a challenge. Herein, with inspiration from the oriental wisdom to control ink transfer by Chinese brushes, we developed a facile and general writing strategy to directly pattern various functional microlines with homogeneous distribution and nanometer-scale thickness. It is demonstrated that the width and thickness of the microlines could be well-controlled by tuning the writing method, providing guidance for the adaptation of this technique to various systems. It is also shown that various functional liquid-phase materials, such as quantum dots, small molecules, polymers, and suspensions of nanoparticles, could directly write on the substrates with intrinsic physicochemical properties well-preserved. Moreover, this technique enabled direct patterning of liquid-phase materials on certain microdomains, even in multiple layered style, thus a microdomain localized chemical reaction and the patterned surface chemical modification were enabled. This bio-inspired direct writing device will shed light on the template-free printing of various functional micropatterns, as well as the integrated functional microdevices. PMID:25845024

  13. Targeting the finite-deformation response of wavy biological tissues with bio-inspired material architectures.

    PubMed

    Tu, Wenqiong; Pindera, Marek-Jerzy

    2013-12-01

    The Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm driven by a homogenized-based model is employed to target the response of three types of heart-valve chordae tendineae with different stiffening characteristics due to different degrees of waviness of collagen fibril/fiber bundles. First, geometric and material parameters are identified through an extensive parametric study that produce excellent agreement of the simulated response based on simplified unit cell architectures with the actual response of the complex biological tissue. These include amplitude and wavelength of the crimped chordae microstructure, elastic moduli of the constituent phases, and degree of microstructural refinement of the stiff phase at fixed volume fraction whose role in the stiffening response is elucidated. The study also reveals potential non-uniqueness of bio-inspired wavy microstructures in attaining the targeted response of certain chordae tendineae crimp configurations. The homogenization-based Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm, whose predictions are validated through the parametric study, is then shown to be an excellent tool in identifying optimal unit cell architectures in the design space that exhibits very steep gradients. Finally, defect criticality of optimal unit cell architectures is investigated in order to assess their feasibility in replacing actual biological tendons with stiffening characteristics. PMID:24018396

  14. Novel bio-inspired smart control for hazard mitigation of civil structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yeesock; Kim, Changwon; Langari, Reza

    2010-11-01

    In this paper, a new bio-inspired controller is proposed for vibration mitigation of smart structures subjected to ground disturbances (i.e. earthquakes). The control system is developed through the integration of a brain emotional learning (BEL) algorithm with a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller and a semiactive inversion (Inv) algorithm. The BEL algorithm is based on the neurologically inspired computational model of the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed hybrid BEL-PID-Inv control algorithm, a seismically excited building structure equipped with a magnetorheological (MR) damper is investigated. The performance of the proposed hybrid BEL-PID-Inv control algorithm is compared with that of passive, PID, linear quadratic Gaussian (LQG), and BEL control systems. In the simulation, the robustness of the hybrid BEL-PID-Inv control algorithm in the presence of modeling uncertainties as well as external disturbances is investigated. It is shown that the proposed hybrid BEL-PID-Inv control algorithm is effective in improving the dynamic responses of seismically excited building structure-MR damper systems.

  15. A Wireless Fatigue Monitoring System Utilizing a Bio-Inspired Tree Ring Data Tracking Technique

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Shi; Li, Xuan; Xie, Zhaohui; Zhou, Zhi; Ou, Jinping

    2014-01-01

    Fatigue, a hot scientific research topic for centuries, can trigger sudden failure of critical structures such as aircraft and railway systems, resulting in enormous casualties as well as economic losses. The fatigue life of certain structures is intrinsically random and few monitoring techniques are capable of tracking the full life-cycle fatigue damage. In this paper, a novel in-situ wireless real-time fatigue monitoring system using a bio-inspired tree ring data tracking technique is proposed. The general framework, methodology, and verification of this intelligent system are discussed in details. The rain-flow counting (RFC) method is adopted as the core algorithm which quantifies fatigue damages, and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is introduced as the core module for data collection and analysis. Laboratory test results based on strain gauges and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) sensors have shown that the developed intelligent system can provide a reliable quick feedback and early warning of fatigue failure. With the merits of low cost, high accuracy and great reliability, the developed wireless fatigue sensing system can be further applied to mechanical engineering, civil infrastructures, transportation systems, aerospace engineering, etc. PMID:24603635

  16. Computational analysis of a tip vortex structure shed from a bio-inspired blade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, Sebastian; Gilkey, Lindsay N.; Kaiser, Bryan E.; Poroseva, Svetlana V.

    2013-11-01

    Understanding and predicting a tip vortex structure and its dynamics is of significant importance for all branches of aerodynamics. A particular focus of our research is the rotorcraft performance which is substantially influenced by a tip vortex. A tip vortex also is a major source of energy losses and acoustic noise. In the present study, an impact of a blade shape on a tip vortex structure is analyzed. Simulations are conducted of flows around a rectangular blade and a bio-inspired blade of the same area. An insect wing is chosen as a blade prototype. Indeed, insects developed physical characteristics that reduce energy consumption while permitting sustained and controlled flight at low level of noise. Analysis has been done to determine what insect poses flight characteristics closest to the small rotorcraft design goals. Commercial CFD software STAR-CCM + is used for conducting computations on structured and unstructured grids and for data post-processing. The authors acknowledge support from UNM CARC in a form of access to HPC and from CD-Adapco for providing Star-CCM+ for academic purposes. The first author's work was supported by the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium.

  17. Bio-inspired surface modification of PET for cardiovascular applications: Case study of gelatin.

    PubMed

    Giol, E Diana; Schaubroeck, David; Kersemans, Ken; De Vos, Filip; Van Vlierberghe, Sandra; Dubruel, Peter

    2015-10-01

    An aqueous-based bio-inspired approach was applied to chemically bind a bio compatible and cell-interactive gelatin layer on poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) for cardiovascular applications. The protein layer was immobilized after an initial surface activation via a dopamine coating. The individual and synergetic effect of the dopamine deposition procedure and the substrate nature (pristine versus plasma-treated) was investigated via XPS, AFM, SEM and contact angle measurements. Dependent on the applied parameters, the post dopamine coating presented various surface roughnesses ranging between 96 nm and 210 nm. Subsequent gelatin immobilization mostly induced a smoothening effect, but the synergetic influence of the deposition protocol and plasma treatment resulted in different gelatin conformations. In addition, a comprehensive comparative study between chemically-modified (via dopamine) and physically-modified (physisorption) PET with gelatin was developed within the present study. All investigated samples were submitted to preliminary haemocompatibility tests, which clearly indicated the direct link between blood platelet behaviour and final protein arrangement. PMID:26163974

  18. Bio-inspired classifier for road extraction from remote sensing imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Jiawei; Wang, Ruisheng; Yue, Shigang

    2014-01-01

    An adaptive approach for road extraction inspired by the mechanism of primary visual cortex (V1) is proposed. The motivation is originated by the characteristics in the receptive field from V1. It has been proved that human or primate visual systems can distinguish useful cues from real scenes effortlessly while traditional computer vision techniques cannot accomplish this task easily. This idea motivates us to design a bio-inspired model for road extraction from remote sensing imagery. The proposed approach is an improved support vector machine (SVM) based on the pooling of feature vectors, using an improved Gaussian radial basis function (RBF) kernel with tuning on synaptic gains. The synaptic gains comprise the feature vectors through an iterative optimization process representing the strength and width of Gaussian RBF kernel. The synaptic gains integrate the excitation and inhibition stimuli based on internal connections from V1. The summation of synaptic gains contributes to pooling of feature vectors. The experimental results verify the correlation between the synaptic gain and classification rules, and then show better performance in comparison with hidden Markov model, SVM, and fuzzy classification approaches. Our contribution is an automatic approach to road extraction without prelabeling and postprocessing work. Another apparent advantage is that our method is robust for images taken even under complex weather conditions such as snowy and foggy weather.

  19. Creep-assisted slow crack growth in bio-inspired dental multilayers.

    PubMed

    Du, Jing; Niu, Xinrui; Soboyejo, Wole

    2015-06-01

    Ceramic crown structures under occlusal contact are often idealized as flat multilayered structures that are deformed under Hertzian contact loading. Previous models treated each layer as linear elastic materials and resulted in differences between the measured and predicted critical loads. This paper examines the combined effects of creep (in the adhesive and substrate layers) and creep-assisted slow crack growth (in the ceramic layer) on the contact-induced deformation of bio-inspired, functionally graded multilayer (FGM) structures and the conventional tri-layers. The time-dependent moduli of each of the layers were determined from constant load creep tests. The resulting modulus-time characteristics were modeled using Prony series. These were then incorporated into a finite element model for the computation of stress distributions in the sub-surface regions of the top ceramic layer, in which sub-surface radial cracks, are observed as the clinical failure mode. The time-dependent stresses are incorporated into a slow crack growth (SCG) model that is used to predict the critical loads of the dental multilayers under Hertzian contact loading. The predicted loading rate dependence of the critical loads is shown to be consistent with experimental results. The implications of the results are then discussed for the design of robust dental multilayers. PMID:25771255

  20. Numerical analysis of bio-inspired corrugated airfoil at low Reynolds number

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mondal, Partha Protim; Rahman, Md. Masudur; Hasan, A. B. M. Toufique

    2016-07-01

    A numerical study was conducted to investigate the aerodynamic performance of a bio-inspired corrugated airfoil at the chord Reynolds number of Rec=80,000 to explore the potential advantages of such airfoils at low Reynolds numbers. This study represents the transient nature of corrugated airfoils at low Reynolds number where flow is assumed to be laminar, unsteady, incompressible and two dimensional. The simulations include a sharp interface Cartesian grid based meshing employed with laminar viscous model. The flow field surrounding the corrugated airfoil has been analyzed using structured grid Finite Volume Method (FVM) based on Navier-Stokes equation. All parameters used in flow simulation are expressed in non-dimensional quantities for better understanding of flow behavior, regardless of dimensions or the fluid that is used. The simulated results revealed that the corrugated airfoil provides high lift with moderate drag and prevents large scale flow separation at higher angles of attack. This happens due to the negative shear drag produced by the recirculation zones which occurs in the valleys of the corrugated airfoils. The existence of small circulation bubbles sitting in the valleys prevents large scale flow separation thus increasing the aerodynamic performance of the corrugated airfoil.

  1. Bio-inspired bending actuator for controlling conical nose shape using piezoelectric patches.

    PubMed

    Na, Tae-Won; Jung, Jin-Young; Oh, Ii-Kwon

    2014-10-01

    In this paper, a bio-inspired bending actuator was designed and fabricated using piezoelectric patches and cantilever-shaped beam for controlling nose shape. The aim of this study is to investigate the use of the bending actuator. PZT and single crystal PMN-PT actuators were used to generate translational strain and shear stress. The piezoelectric patches were attached on the clamped cantilever beam to convert their translational strains to bending motion of the beam. First, finite element analysis was performed to identify and to make an accurate estimate of the feasibility on the bending actuation by applying various voltages and frequencies. Based on the results of the FEM analysis, the experiments were also performed. Static voltages and dynamic voltages with various frequencies were applied to the bending actuators with PZTs and PMN-PTs, and the rotation angles of the nose connected to the top of bending actuators were measured, respectively. As the results, the bending actuator using PMN-PT patches showed better performances in all cases. With the increases of signal frequency and input voltage, the rotation angle also found to be increased. Especially at the frequency of 5 Hz and input voltage of 600 V, the nose generated the maximum rotation angle of 3.15 degree. PMID:25942810

  2. Bio-Inspired Aggregation Control of Carbon Nanotubes for Ultra-Strong Composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Yue; Zhang, Xiaohua; Yu, Xueping; Zhao, Jingna; Li, Shan; Liu, Feng; Gao, Peng; Zhang, Yongyi; Zhao, Tong; Li, Qingwen

    2015-06-01

    High performance nanocomposites require well dispersion and high alignment of the nanometer-sized components, at a high mass or volume fraction as well. However, the road towards such composite structure is severely hindered due to the easy aggregation of these nanometer-sized components. Here we demonstrate a big step to approach the ideal composite structure for carbon nanotube (CNT) where all the CNTs were highly packed, aligned, and unaggregated, with the impregnated polymers acting as interfacial adhesions and mortars to build up the composite structure. The strategy was based on a bio-inspired aggregation control to limit the CNT aggregation to be sub 20-50 nm, a dimension determined by the CNT growth. After being stretched with full structural relaxation in a multi-step way, the CNT/polymer (bismaleimide) composite yielded super-high tensile strengths up to 6.27-6.94 GPa, more than 100% higher than those of carbon fiber/epoxy composites, and toughnesses up to 117-192 MPa. We anticipate that the present study can be generalized for developing multifunctional and smart nanocomposites where all the surfaces of nanometer-sized components can take part in shear transfer of mechanical, thermal, and electrical signals.

  3. The tubercles on humpback whales' flippers: application of bio-inspired technology.

    PubMed

    Fish, Frank E; Weber, Paul W; Murray, Mark M; Howle, Laurens E

    2011-07-01

    The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is exceptional among the large baleen whales in its ability to undertake aquabatic maneuvers to catch prey. Humpback whales utilize extremely mobile, wing-like flippers for banking and turning. Large rounded tubercles along the leading edge of the flipper are morphological structures that are unique in nature. The tubercles on the leading edge act as passive-flow control devices that improve performance and maneuverability of the flipper. Experimental analysis of finite wing models has demonstrated that the presence of tubercles produces a delay in the angle of attack until stall, thereby increasing maximum lift and decreasing drag. Possible fluid-dynamic mechanisms for improved performance include delay of stall through generation of a vortex and modification of the boundary layer, and increase in effective span by reduction of both spanwise flow and strength of the tip vortex. The tubercles provide a bio-inspired design that has commercial viability for wing-like structures. Control of passive flow has the advantages of eliminating complex, costly, high-maintenance, and heavy control mechanisms, while improving performance for lifting bodies in air and water. The tubercles on the leading edge can be applied to the design of watercraft, aircraft, ventilation fans, and windmills. PMID:21576119

  4. Boundary layer drag reduction research hypotheses derived from bio-inspired surface and recent advanced applications.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yuehao; Yuan, Lu; Li, Jianhua; Wang, Jianshe

    2015-12-01

    Nature has supplied the inexhaustible resources for mankind, and at the same time, it has also progressively developed into the school for scientists and engineers. Through more than four billions years of rigorous and stringent evolution, different creatures in nature gradually exhibit their own special and fascinating biological functional surfaces. For example, sharkskin has the potential drag-reducing effect in turbulence, lotus leaf possesses the self-cleaning and anti-foiling function, gecko feet have the controllable super-adhesion surfaces, the flexible skin of dolphin can accelerate its swimming velocity. Great profits of applying biological functional surfaces in daily life, industry, transportation and agriculture have been achieved so far, and much attention from all over the world has been attracted and focused on this field. In this overview, the bio-inspired drag-reducing mechanism derived from sharkskin is explained and explored comprehensively from different aspects, and then the main applications in different fluid engineering are demonstrated in brief. This overview will inevitably improve the comprehension of the drag reduction mechanism of sharkskin surface and better understand the recent applications in fluid engineering. PMID:26348428

  5. Bio-inspired artificial muscle structure for integrated sensing and actuation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Zhihang; Faisal, Md. Shahnewaz Sabit; Asmatulu, Ramazan; Chen, Zheng

    2015-04-01

    In this paper, a novel artificial muscle/tendon structure is developed for achieving bio-inspired actuation and self-sensing. The hybrid structure consists of a dielectric elastomer (DE) material connected with carbon fibers, which incorporates the built-in sensing and actuation capability of DE and mechanical, electrical interfacing capability of carbon fibers. DEs are light weight artificial muscles that can generate compliant actuation with low power consumption. Carbon fibers act as artificial tendon due to their high electro-conductivity and mechanical strength. PDMS material is used to electrically and mechanically connect the carbon fibers with the DE material. A strip actuator was fabricated to verify the structure design and characterize its actuation and sensing capabilities. A 3M VHB 4905 tape was used as the DE material. To make compliant electrodes on the VHB tape, carbon black was sprayed on the surface of VHB tape. To join the carbon fibers to the VHB tape, PDMS was used as bonding material. Experiments have been conducted to characterize the actuation and sensing capabilities. The actuation tests have shown that the energy efficiency of artificial muscle can reach up to 0.7% and the strain can reach up to 1%. The sensing tests have verified that the structure is capable of self-sensing through the electrical impedance measurement.

  6. Enhanced photoactivities of TiO2 particles induced by bio-inspired micro-nanoscale substrate.

    PubMed

    Gao, Liguo; Wang, Yawei; Yan, Yang; Li, Qun; Hao, Ce; Ma, Tingli

    2016-05-15

    A silicon substrate with bio-inspired micro-nanoscale structure has been fabricated by wet etching, which is used as TiO2 particles supporting substrate and makes them recovery more easily. It has been shown that the structure facilitates TiO2 with large surface area and suppresses light reflection more effectively, which results in a high photocatalytic performance. The photocatalytic and stable performance has been applied on degrading methyl orange (MO). PMID:26928059

  7. Bio-inspired multinuclear copper complexes covalently immobilized on reduced graphene oxide as efficient electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction.

    PubMed

    Xi, Yue-Ting; Wei, Ping-Jie; Wang, Ru-Chun; Liu, Jin-Gang

    2015-05-01

    Inspired by the multicopper active site of laccase, which efficiently catalyzes the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), herein we report a novel bio-inspired ORR catalyst composed of a multinuclear copper complex that was immobilized on the surface of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) via the covalently grafted triazole-dipyridine (TADPy) dinucleating ligand. This rGO-TADPyCu catalyst exhibited high ORR activity and superior long-term stability compared to Pt/C in alkaline media. PMID:25825826

  8. Functional architectures based on self-assembly of bio-inspired dipeptides: Structure modulation and its photoelectronic applications.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chengjun; Liu, Kai; Li, Junbai; Yan, Xuehai

    2015-11-01

    Getting inspiration from nature and further developing functional architectures provides an effective way to design innovative materials and systems. Among bio-inspired materials, dipeptides and its self-assembled architectures with functionalities have recently been the subject of intensive studies. However, there is still a great challenge to explore its applications likely due to the lack of effective adaptation of their self-assembled structures as well as a lack of understanding of the self-assembly mechanisms. In this context, taking diphenylalanine (FF, a core recognition motif for molecular self-assembly of the Alzheimer's β-amyloid polypeptides) as a model of bio-inspired dipeptides, recent strategies on modulation of dipeptide-based architectures were introduced with regard to both covalent (architectures modulation by coupling functional groups) and non-covalent ways (controlled architectures by different assembly pathways). Then, applications are highlighted in some newly emerging fields of innovative photoelectronic devices and materials, such as artificial photosynthetic systems for renewable solar energy storage and renewable optical waveguiding materials for optoelectronic devices. At last, the challenges and future perspectives of these bio-inspired dipeptides are also addressed. PMID:26365127

  9. A bio-inspired real-time capable artificial lateral line system for freestream flow measurements.

    PubMed

    Abels, C; Qualtieri, A; De Vittorio, M; Megill, W M; Rizzi, F

    2016-06-01

    To enhance today's artificial flow sensing capabilities in aerial and underwater robotics, future robots could be equipped with a large number of miniaturized sensors distributed over the surface to provide high resolution measurement of the surrounding fluid flow. In this work we show a linear array of closely separated bio-inspired micro-electro-mechanical flow sensors whose sensing mechanism is based on a piezoresistive strain-gauge along a stress-driven cantilever beam, mimicking the biological superficial neuromasts found in the lateral line organ of fishes. Aiming to improve state-of-the-art flow sensing capability in autonomously flying and swimming robots, our artificial lateral line system was designed and developed to feature multi-parameter freestream flow measurements which provide information about (1) local flow velocities as measured by the signal amplitudes from the individual cantilevers as well as (2) propagation velocity, (3) linear forward/backward direction along the cantilever beam orientation and (4) periodicity of pulses or pulse trains determined by cross-correlating sensor signals. A real-time capable cross-correlation procedure was developed which makes it possible to extract freestream flow direction and velocity information from flow fluctuations. The computed flow velocities deviate from a commercial system by 0.09 m s(-1) at 0.5 m s(-1) and 0.15 m s(-1) at 1.0 m s(-1) flow velocity for a sampling rate of 240 Hz and a sensor distance of 38 mm. Although experiments were performed in air, the presented flow sensing system can be applied to underwater vehicles as well, once the sensors are embedded in a waterproof micro-electro-mechanical systems package. PMID:27257144

  10. A nonlinear mechanics model of bio-inspired hierarchical lattice materials consisting of horseshoe microstructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Qiang; Cheng, Huanyu; Jang, Kyung-In; Luan, Haiwen; Hwang, Keh-Chih; Rogers, John A.; Huang, Yonggang; Zhang, Yihui

    2016-05-01

    Development of advanced synthetic materials that can mimic the mechanical properties of non-mineralized soft biological materials has important implications in a wide range of technologies. Hierarchical lattice materials constructed with horseshoe microstructures belong to this class of bio-inspired synthetic materials, where the mechanical responses can be tailored to match the nonlinear J-shaped stress-strain curves of human skins. The underlying relations between the J-shaped stress-strain curves and their microstructure geometry are essential in designing such systems for targeted applications. Here, a theoretical model of this type of hierarchical lattice material is developed by combining a finite deformation constitutive relation of the building block (i.e., horseshoe microstructure), with the analyses of equilibrium and deformation compatibility in the periodical lattices. The nonlinear J-shaped stress-strain curves and Poisson ratios predicted by this model agree very well with results of finite element analyses (FEA) and experiment. Based on this model, analytic solutions were obtained for some key mechanical quantities, e.g., elastic modulus, Poisson ratio, peak modulus, and critical strain around which the tangent modulus increases rapidly. A negative Poisson effect is revealed in the hierarchical lattice with triangular topology, as opposed to a positive Poisson effect in hierarchical lattices with Kagome and honeycomb topologies. The lattice topology is also found to have a strong influence on the stress-strain curve. For the three isotropic lattice topologies (triangular, Kagome and honeycomb), the hierarchical triangular lattice material renders the sharpest transition in the stress-strain curve and relative high stretchability, given the same porosity and arc angle of horseshoe microstructure. Furthermore, a demonstrative example illustrates the utility of the developed model in the rapid optimization of hierarchical lattice materials for

  11. Superhydro-oleophobic bio-inspired polydimethylsiloxane micropillared surface via FDTS coating/blending approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Zihe; Shahsavan, Hamed; Zhang, Wei; Yang, Fut K.; Zhao, Boxin

    2015-01-01

    In this work we render superhydro-oleophobic properties to the surface of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer through bio-inspired micropillar surface and chemical modification with a fluorosilane polymer, trichloro(1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctyl)silane (FDTS). Two different chemical modification approaches were applied on both flat and micropillar PDMS: (1) vapor deposition of FDTS on cured PDMS surface, and (2) blending FDTS with the liquid PDMS precursor before curing. Comparative studies of the water and oil contact angles on the neat and FDTS-modified PDMS (both flat and micropillar) indicated that superhydro-oleophobicity was delivered by a combination of FDTS chemistry and micropillar geometry. FDTS-blended PDMS micropillar displayed better oleophobicity with an oil contact angle of ∼141° than FDTS-coated PDMS micropillar (∼115°). In contrast to the smooth surface of FDTS-blended PDMS micropillar, rough surface with some structure defects were found on the FDTS-coated micropillar surface caused by the vapor deposition process; the surface defects might be responsible for the observed low oleophobicity of FDTS-coated PDMS micropillar. Superhydrophobicity of FDTS-blended PDMS micropillar in terms of water contact angles was found to be independent of the quantity of FDTS. However, the oleophobicity of FDTS-blended PDMS micropillar was found to be dependent of the quantity of FDTS; with the increased weight concentration of FDTS in PDMS, the oils contact angle first increased and then leveled out at a finite concentration. FTIR and XPS were applied to analyze surface chemistry information suggesting the blended FDTS segregated from bulk PDMS and enriched at the surface to reduce surface tension so as to make surface super-oleophobic.

  12. Interconversion of CO2 and formic acid by bio-inspired Ir complexes with pendent bases.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Etsuko; Muckerman, James T; Himeda, Yuichiro

    2013-01-01

    Recent investigations of the interconversion of CO2 and formic acid using Ru, Ir and Fe complexes are summarized in this review. During the past several years, both the reaction rates and catalyst stabilities have been significantly improved. Remarkably, the interconversion (i.e., reversibility) has also been achieved under mild conditions in environmentally benign water solvent by slightly changing the pH of the aqueous solution. Only a few catalysts seem to reflect a bio-inspired design such as the use of proton responsive ligands, ligands with pendent bases or acids for a second-coordination-sphere interaction, electroresponsive ligands, and/or ligands having a hydrogen bonding function with a solvent molecule or an added reagent. The most successful of these is an iridium dinuclear complex catalyst that at least has the first three of these characteristics associated with its bridging ligand. By utilizing an acid/base equilibrium for proton removal, the ligand becomes a strong electron donor, resulting in Ir(I) character with a vacant coordination site at each metal center in slightly basic solution. Complemented by DFT calculations, kinetic studies of the rates of formate production using a related family of Ir complexes with and without such functions on the ligand reveal that the rate-determining step for the CO2 hydrogenation is likely to be H2 addition through heterolytic cleavage involving a "proton relay" through the pendent base. The dehydrogenation of formic acid, owing to the proton responsive ligands changing character under slightly acidic pH conditions, is likely to occur by a mechanism with a different rate-determining step. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Metals in Bioenergetics and Biomimetics Systems. PMID:23174332

  13. Transportation network with fluctuating input/output designed by the bio-inspired Physarum algorithm.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Shin; Takamatsu, Atsuko

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we propose designing transportation network topology and traffic distribution under fluctuating conditions using a bio-inspired algorithm. The algorithm is inspired by the adaptive behavior observed in an amoeba-like organism, plasmodial slime mold, more formally known as plasmodium of Physarum plycephalum. This organism forms a transportation network to distribute its protoplasm, the fluidic contents of its cell, throughout its large cell body. In this process, the diameter of the transportation tubes adapts to the flux of the protoplasm. The Physarum algorithm, which mimics this adaptive behavior, has been widely applied to complex problems, such as maze solving and designing the topology of railroad grids, under static conditions. However, in most situations, environmental conditions fluctuate; for example, in power grids, the consumption of electric power shows daily, weekly, and annual periodicity depending on the lifestyles or the business needs of the individual consumers. This paper studies the design of network topology and traffic distribution with oscillatory input and output traffic flows. The network topology proposed by the Physarum algorithm is controlled by a parameter of the adaptation process of the tubes. We observe various rich topologies such as complete mesh, partial mesh, Y-shaped, and V-shaped networks depending on this adaptation parameter and evaluate them on the basis of three performance functions: loss, cost, and vulnerability. Our results indicate that consideration of the oscillatory conditions and the phase-lags in the multiple outputs of the network is important: The building and/or maintenance cost of the network can be reduced by introducing the oscillating condition, and when the phase-lag among the outputs is large, the transportation loss can also be reduced. We use stability analysis to reveal how the system exhibits various topologies depending on the parameter. PMID:24586616

  14. Classifying continuous, real-time e-nose sensor data using a bio-inspired spiking network modelled on the insect olfactory system.

    PubMed

    Diamond, A; Schmuker, M; Berna, A Z; Trowell, S; Nowotny, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    In many application domains, conventional e-noses are frequently outperformed in both speed and accuracy by their biological counterparts. Exploring potential bio-inspired improvements, we note a number of neuronal network models have demonstrated some success in classifying static datasets by abstracting the insect olfactory system. However, these designs remain largely unproven in practical settings, where sensor data is real-time, continuous, potentially noisy, lacks a precise onset signal and accurate classification requires the inclusion of temporal aspects into the feature set. This investigation therefore seeks to inform and develop the potential and suitability of biomimetic classifiers for use with typical real-world sensor data. Taking a generic classifier design inspired by the inhibition and competition in the insect antennal lobe, we apply it to identifying 20 individual chemical odours from the timeseries of responses of metal oxide sensors. We show that four out of twelve available sensors and the first 30 s (10%) of the sensors' continuous response are sufficient to deliver 92% accurate classification without access to an odour onset signal. In contrast to previous approaches, once training is complete, sensor signals can be fed continuously into the classifier without requiring discretization. We conclude that for continuous data there may be a conceptual advantage in using spiking networks, in particular where time is an essential component of computation. Classification was achieved in real time using a GPU-accelerated spiking neural network simulator developed in our group. PMID:26891474

  15. Issues in Applying Bio-Inspiration, Cognitive Critical Mass and Developmental-Inspired Principles to Advanced Intelligent Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berg-Cross, Gary; Samsonovich, Alexei V.

    This Chapter summarizes ideas presented at the special PerMIS 2008 session on Biological Inspiration for Intelligent Systems. Bio-inspired principles of development and evolution are a special part of the bio-models and principles that can be used to improve intelligent systems and related artifacts. Such principles are not always explicit. They represent an alternative to incremental engineering expansion using new technology to replicate human intelligent capabilities. They are more evident in efforts to replicate and produce a “critical mass” of higher cognitive functions of the human mind or their emergence through cognitive developmental robotics (DR) and self-regulated learning (SRL). DR approaches takes inspiration from natural processes, so that intelligently engineered systems may create solutions to problems in ways similar to what we hypothesize is occurring with biologics in their natural environment. This Chapter discusses how an SRL-based approach to bootstrap a “critical mass” can be assessed by a set of cognitive tests. It also uses a three-level bio-inspired framework to illustrate methodological issues in DR research. The approach stresses the importance of using bio-realistic developmental principles to guide and constrain research. Of particular importance is keeping models and implementation separate to avoid the possible of falling into a Ptolemaic paradigm that may lead to endless tweaking of models. Several of Lungarella's design principles [36] for developmental robotics are discussed as constraints on intelligence as it emerges from an ecologically balanced, three-way interaction between an agents' control systems, physical embodiment, and the external environment. The direction proposed herein is to explore such principles to avoid slavish following of superficial bio-inspiration. Rather we should proceed with a mature and informed developmental approach using developmental principles based on our incremental understanding of how

  16. Electrowetting-Controlled and Electrically-Tunable Bio-Inspired Micro/Nanostructures and Optofluidic Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manakasettharn, Supone

    Many man-made structures and devices have been inspired by the ingenious structures, mechanisms, properties, and functions of plants and animals. This work has been inspired by a number of unique properties, which biological organisms possess such as dynamic tunable iridescence, self-cleaning properties, and brilliant structural color. The objective of this work is to model, design, fabricate, and characterize novel bio-inspired micro-/nanostructures and optofluidic devices. To conceptually mimic the iridescence of cephalopods, microflowers have been modeled and designed based on elasto-capillary bending, which is the interplay between the elastic energy of petals and the capillary energy of a liquid droplet, which is used to actuate petal movement. After microfabrication of the polycrystalline Si microflowers, two methods of petal actuation have been demonstrated---one by volume change of the water droplet and the other by change of water contact angle on the petals using the electrowetting process. The experimental results are in good agreement with a theoretical model. By taking into account the self-cleaning properties of lotus leaves, transparent Ta2O5 nanostructured thin films have been fabricated using a multi-step anodization process of sputter-deposited Al-Ta bilayers on a quartz substrate. The films then have been made superhydrophobic by using a combination of nanostructures, called nanograss, along with the deposition of hydrophobic coatings. The films also have been characterized by measuring water contact angles and by obtaining optical transmittance spectra and SEM micrographs. The measured contact angles and transmittance spectra are in good agreement with theoretical calculations. Inspired by biological nanostructured surfaces possessing structural color and wettability control, reflective Ta2O5 nanostructured thin films have been fabricated using the multi-step anodization process of sputter-deposited Al-Ta bilayers on a Si substrate. The films

  17. Bio-Inspired Photon Absorption and Energy Transfer for Next Generation Photovoltaic Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magsi, Komal

    Nature's solar energy harvesting system, photosynthesis, serves as a model for photon absorption, spectra broadening, and energy transfer. Photosynthesis harvests light far differently than photovoltaic cells. These differences offer both engineering opportunity and scientific challenges since not all of the natural photon absorption mechanisms have been understood. In return, solar cells can be a very sensitive probe for the absorption characteristics of molecules capable of transferring charge to a conductive interface. The objective of this scientific work is the advancement of next generation photovoltaics through the development and application of natural photo-energy transfer processes. Two scientific methods were used in the development and application of enhancing photon absorption and transfer. First, a detailed analysis of photovoltaic front surface fluorescent spectral modification and light scattering by hetero-structure was conducted. Phosphor based spectral down-conversion is a well-known laser technology. The theoretical calculations presented here indicate that parasitic losses and light scattering within the spectral range are large enough to offset any expected gains. The second approach for enhancing photon absorption is based on bio-inspired mechanisms. Key to the utilization of these natural processes is the development of a detailed scientific understanding and the application of these processes to cost effective systems and devices. In this work both aspects are investigated. Dye type solar cells were prepared and tested as a function of Chlorophyll (or Sodium-Copper Chlorophyllin) and accessory dyes. Forster has shown that the fluorescence ratio of Chlorophyll is modified and broadened by separate photon absorption (sensitized absorption) through interaction with nearby accessory pigments. This work used the dye type solar cell as a diagnostic tool by which to investigate photon absorption and photon energy transfer. These experiments shed

  18. An IPMC-enabled bio-inspired bending/twisting fin for underwater applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmre, Viljar; Hubbard, Joel J.; Fleming, Maxwell; Pugal, David; Kim, Sungjun; Kim, Kwang J.; Leang, Kam K.

    2013-01-01

    This paper discusses the design, fabrication, and characterization of an ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) actuator-based bio-inspired active fin capable of bending and twisting motion. It is pointed out that IPMC strip actuators are used in the simple cantilever configuration to create simple bending (flapping-like) motion for propulsion in underwater autonomous systems. However, the resulting motion is a simple 1D bending and performance is rather limited. To enable more complex deformation, such as the flapping (pitch and heaving) motion of real pectoral and caudal fish fins, a new approach which involves molding or integrating IPMC actuators into a soft boot material to create an active control surface (called a ‘fin’) is presented. The fin can be used to realize complex deformation depending on the orientation and placement of the actuators. In contrast to previously created IPMCs with patterned electrodes for the same purpose, the proposed design avoids (1) the more expensive process of electroless plating platinum all throughout the surface of the actuator and (2) the need for specially patterning the electrodes. Therefore, standard shaped IPMC actuators such as those with rectangular dimensions with varying thicknesses can be used. One unique advantage of the proposed structural design is that custom shaped fins and control surfaces can be easily created without special materials processing. The molding process is cost effective and does not require functionalizing or ‘activating’ the boot material similar to creating IPMCs. For a prototype fin (90 mm wide × 60 mm long × 1.5 mm thick), the measured maximum tip displacement was approximately 44 mm and the twist angle of the fin exceeded 10°. Lift and drag measurements in water where the prototype fin with an airfoil profile was dragged through water at a velocity of 21 cm s-1 showed that the lift and drag forces can be affected by controlling the IPMCs embedded into the fin structure. These

  19. In situ synthesis of lead sulfide nanoclusters on eggshell membrane fibers by an ambient bio-inspired technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Huilan; Han, Jie; Wang, Na; Dong, Qun; Zhang, Di; Zhang, Chunfu

    2008-02-01

    An ambient aqueous soakage technique is successfully developed to prepare PbS nanoclusters on eggshell membrane (ESM) fibers containing some active functional groups (hydroxyl, amine, imine, etc). Based on the biomaterial ESM serving as the reactive substrate and some ESM biomacromolecules acting as the surfactant, PbS nanocrystallites are in situ formed and further assembled into well-distributed nanoparticle aggregations. This moderate bio-inspired strategy would be of great value in preparing novel functional nanomaterials. The as-prepared hybrid PbS/ESM nanocomposites could have great potential for applications in semiconductor industries, optoelectronic fields, and nanostructured devices.

  20. Operant conditioning: a minimal components requirement in artificial spiking neurons designed for bio-inspired robot's controller

    PubMed Central

    Cyr, André; Boukadoum, Mounir; Thériault, Frédéric

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate the operant conditioning (OC) learning process within a bio-inspired paradigm, using artificial spiking neural networks (ASNN) to act as robot brain controllers. In biological agents, OC results in behavioral changes learned from the consequences of previous actions, based on progressive prediction adjustment from rewarding or punishing signals. In a neurorobotics context, virtual and physical autonomous robots may benefit from a similar learning skill when facing unknown and unsupervised environments. In this work, we demonstrate that a simple invariant micro-circuit can sustain OC in multiple learning scenarios. The motivation for this new OC implementation model stems from the relatively complex alternatives that have been described in the computational literature and recent advances in neurobiology. Our elementary kernel includes only a few crucial neurons, synaptic links and originally from the integration of habituation and spike-timing dependent plasticity as learning rules. Using several tasks of incremental complexity, our results show that a minimal neural component set is sufficient to realize many OC procedures. Hence, with the proposed OC module, designing learning tasks with an ASNN and a bio-inspired robot context leads to simpler neural architectures for achieving complex behaviors. PMID:25120464

  1. Operant conditioning: a minimal components requirement in artificial spiking neurons designed for bio-inspired robot's controller.

    PubMed

    Cyr, André; Boukadoum, Mounir; Thériault, Frédéric

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate the operant conditioning (OC) learning process within a bio-inspired paradigm, using artificial spiking neural networks (ASNN) to act as robot brain controllers. In biological agents, OC results in behavioral changes learned from the consequences of previous actions, based on progressive prediction adjustment from rewarding or punishing signals. In a neurorobotics context, virtual and physical autonomous robots may benefit from a similar learning skill when facing unknown and unsupervised environments. In this work, we demonstrate that a simple invariant micro-circuit can sustain OC in multiple learning scenarios. The motivation for this new OC implementation model stems from the relatively complex alternatives that have been described in the computational literature and recent advances in neurobiology. Our elementary kernel includes only a few crucial neurons, synaptic links and originally from the integration of habituation and spike-timing dependent plasticity as learning rules. Using several tasks of incremental complexity, our results show that a minimal neural component set is sufficient to realize many OC procedures. Hence, with the proposed OC module, designing learning tasks with an ASNN and a bio-inspired robot context leads to simpler neural architectures for achieving complex behaviors. PMID:25120464

  2. Bio-inspired, subwavelength surface structures to control reflectivity, transmission, and scattering in the infrared

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lora Gonzalez, Federico

    Controlling the reflection of visible and infrared (IR) light at interfaces is extremely important to increase the power efficiency and performance of optics, electro-optical and (thermo)photovoltaic systems. The eye of the moth has evolved subwavelength protuberances that increase light transmission into the eye tissue and prevent reflection. The subwavelength protuberances effectively grade the refractive index from that of air (n=1) to that of the tissue (n=1.4), making the interface gradual, suppressing reflection. In theory, the moth-eye (ME) structures can be implemented with any material platform to achieve an antireflectance effect by scaling the pitch and size of protuberances for the wavelength range of interest. In this work, a bio-inspired, scalable and substrate-independent surface modification protocol was developed to realize broadband antireflective structures based on the moth-eye principle. Quasi-ordered ME arrays were fabricated in IR relevant materials using a colloidal lithography method to achieve highly efficient, omni-directional transmission of mid and far infrared (IR) radiation. The effect of structure height and aspect ratio on transmittance and scattering is explored, with discussion on experimental techniques and effective medium theory (EMT). The highest aspect ratio structures (AR = 9.4) achieved peak single-side transmittance of 98%, with >85% transmission for lambda = 7--30 microns. A detailed photon balance constructed by transmission, forward scattering, specular reflection and diffuse reflection measurements to quantify optical losses due to near-field effects will be discussed. In addition, angle-dependent transmission measurements showed that moth-eye structures provide superior antireflective properties compared to unstructured interfaces over a wide angular range (0--60° incidence). Finally, subwavelength ME structures are incorporated on a Si substrate to enhance the absorption of near infrared (NIR) light in PtSi films to

  3. LINEBACkER: Bio-inspired Data Reduction Toward Real Time Network Traffic Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Teuton, Jeremy R.; Peterson, Elena S.; Nordwall, Douglas J.; Akyol, Bora A.; Oehmen, Christopher S.

    2013-09-28

    Abstract—One essential component of resilient cyber applications is the ability to detect adversaries and protect systems with the same flexibility adversaries will use to achieve their goals. Current detection techniques do not enable this degree of flexibility because most existing applications are built using exact or regular-expression matching to libraries of rule sets. Further, network traffic defies traditional cyber security approaches that focus on limiting access based on the use of passwords and examination of lists of installed or downloaded programs. These approaches do not readily apply to network traffic occurring beyond the access control point, and when the data in question are combined control and payload data of ever increasing speed and volume. Manual analysis of network traffic is not normally possible because of the magnitude of the data that is being exchanged and the length of time that this analysis takes. At the same time, using an exact matching scheme to identify malicious traffic in real time often fails because the lists against which such searches must operate grow too large. In this work, we introduce an alternative method for cyber network detection based on similarity-measuring algorithms for gene sequence analysis. These methods are ideal because they were designed to identify similar but nonidentical sequences. We demonstrate that our method is generally applicable to the problem of network traffic analysis by illustrating its use in two different areas both based on different attributes of network traffic. Our approach provides a logical framework for organizing large collections of network data, prioritizing traffic of interest to human analysts, and makes it possible to discover traffic signatures without the bias introduced by expert-directed signature generation. Pattern recognition on reduced representations of network traffic offers a fast, efficient, and more robust way to detect anomalies.

  4. Bio-inspired metal-coordination dynamics: A unique tool for engineering novel properties in soft matter systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grindy, Scott; Li, Qiaochu; Halim, Abigail; Learsch, Robert; Holten-Andersen, Niels

    2015-03-01

    In soft material systems, materials properties are generally governed by transient, dynamic interactions of many types over many hierarchal length- and time-scales. However, explicit control over these dynamics is not always possible, leaving open questions into how transient interactions can be exploited to design soft materials with unique and exceptional properties. Inspired by the adhesive chemistry and tough character of mussel byssal threads, we present several studies on both the mechanical properties of soft materials and templated crystallization kinetics to show the diverse array of materials properties that can be generated using bio-inspired metal-coordination. By studying our model systems, we can determine the explicit effects of metal-coordination dynamics on various bulk properties, further adding to the set of tools we can use to design soft material systems.

  5. Implementation of a cellular neural network-based segmentation algorithm on the bio-inspired vision system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karabiber, Fethullah; Grassi, Giuseppe; Vecchio, Pietro; Arik, Sabri; Yalcin, M. Erhan

    2011-01-01

    Based on the cellular neural network (CNN) paradigm, the bio-inspired (bi-i) cellular vision system is a computing platform consisting of state-of-the-art sensing, cellular sensing-processing and digital signal processing. This paper presents the implementation of a novel CNN-based segmentation algorithm onto the bi-i system. The experimental results, carried out for different benchmark video sequences, highlight the feasibility of the approach, which provides a frame rate of about 26 frame/sec. Comparisons with existing CNN-based methods show that, even though these methods are from two to six times faster than the proposed one, the conceived approach is more accurate and, consequently, represents a satisfying trade-off between real-time requirements and accuracy.

  6. Fmoc-modified amino acids and short peptides: simple bio-inspired building blocks for the fabrication of functional materials.

    PubMed

    Tao, Kai; Levin, Aviad; Adler-Abramovich, Lihi; Gazit, Ehud

    2016-07-11

    Amino acids and short peptides modified with the 9-fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl (Fmoc) group possess eminent self-assembly features and show distinct potential for applications due to the inherent hydrophobicity and aromaticity of the Fmoc moiety which can promote the association of building blocks. Given the extensive study and numerous publications in this field, it is necessary to summarize the recent progress concerning these important bio-inspired building blocks. Therefore, in this review, we explore the self-organization of this class of functional molecules from three aspects, i.e., Fmoc-modified individual amino acids, Fmoc-modified di- and tripeptides, and Fmoc-modified tetra- and pentapeptides. The relevant properties and applications related to cell cultivation, bio-templating, optical, drug delivery, catalytic, therapeutic and antibiotic properties are subsequently summarized. Finally, some existing questions impeding the development of Fmoc-modified simple biomolecules are discussed, and corresponding strategies and outlooks are suggested. PMID:27115033

  7. Bio-inspired surfactant assisted nano-catalyst impregnation of Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) electrodes

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ozmen, Ozcan; Zondlo, John W.; Lee, Shiwoo; Gerdes, Kirk; Sabolsky, Edward M.

    2015-11-02

    A bio-inspired surfactant was utilized to assist in the efficient impregnation of a nano-CeO₂ catalyst throughout both porous Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC’s) electrodes simultaneously. The process included the initial modification of electrode pore walls with a polydopamine film. The cell was then submersed into a cerium salt solution. The amount of nano-CeO₂ deposited per impregnation step increased by 3.5 times by utilizing this two-step protocol in comparison to a conventional drip impregnation method. The impregnated cells exhibited a 20% higher power density than a baseline cell without the nano-catalyst at 750°C (using humid H₂ fuel).

  8. Flexible readout and integration sensor (FRIS): a bio-inspired, system-on-chip, event-based readout architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Joseph H.; Pouliquen, Philippe O.; Andreou, Andreas G.; Goldberg, Arnold C.; Rizk, Charbel G.

    2012-06-01

    We present a bio-inspired system-on-chip focal plane readout architecture which at the system level, relies on an event based sampling scheme where only pixels within a programmable range of photon flux rates are output. At the pixel level, a one bit oversampled analog-to-digital converter together with a decimator allows for the quantization of signals up to 26 bits. Furthermore, digital non-uniformity correction of both gain and offset errors is applied at the pixel level prior to readout. We report test results for a prototype array fabricated in a standard 90nm CMOS process. Tests performed at room and cryogenic temperatures demonstrate the capability to operate at a temporal noise ratio as low as 1.5, an electron well capacity over 100Ge-, and an ADC LSB down to 1e-.

  9. Water repellent/wetting characteristics of various bio-inspired morphologies and fluid drag reduction testing research.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yuehao; Song, Wen; Wang, Xudong

    2016-03-01

    It is well-known that the bio-inspired sharkskin covering the original pattern has the apparent drag reduction function in the turbulent flowing stations, which can be regarded as "sharkskin effect", and it has progressively been put application into the fluid engineering with obtaining great profits. In this paper, the anisotropic wetting phenomena on sharkskin are discovered, the contact angles and rolling angles on different orientations are not the same. In addition, the hydrodynamic experiments on different sharkskin surfaces are conducted, and the experimental results illustrate that the super-hydrophobic and drag-reducing properties on deformed biological surfaces are improved to some extent compared to the original morphology, which has important significance to expand its practical applications. PMID:26760225

  10. Bio-inspired synthesis and laser processing of nanostructured barium titanate thin films: implications for uncooled IR sensor development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livingston, F. E.; Sarney, W. L.; Niesz, K.; Ould-Ely, T.; Tao, A. R.; Morse, D. E.

    2009-05-01

    The Army requires passive uncooled IR sensors for use in numerous vehicle and weapons platforms, including driver vision enhancement (DVE), rifle sights, seeker munitions, and unattended ground sensors (UGSs) and unattended aerial vehicles (UAVs). Recent advances in bio-inspired/biomimetic nanomaterials synthesis, laser material processing, and sensor design and performance testing, offer the opportunity to create uncooled IR detector focal-plane arrays with improved sensitivity, low thermal mass, and fast response times, along with amenability to low-cost, rapid prototype manufacture. We are exploring the use of genotype-inspired, digitally-scripted laser direct-write techniques, in conjunction with the kinetically controlled catalytic process for the growth of nanostructured multimetallic perovskites, to develop a novel approach to the fabrication of precision patterned 2-D focal-plane arrays of pyroelectric perovskite-based materials. The bio-inspired growth of nanostructured, multimetallic perovskite thin-films corresponds to the use of kinetically controlled vapor diffusion for the slow growth of pure, highly crystalline 6-nm barium titanate (BaTiO3) nanoparticles. This unique vapor-diffusion sol-gel route enables the formation of stoichiometric cubic-phase nanoparticles at room temperature and ambient pressure in the absence of a structure-directing template. Novel laser direct-write processing and synchronized electro-optic pulse modulation techniques have been utilized to induce site-selective, patterned phase transformation of microscale aggregates of the BaTiO3 nanoparticles from the non-pyroelectric cubic polymorph to the pyroelectric tetragonal polymorph. This paper reports on our initial collaborative investigations, including comprehensive structural characterization (XRD, TEM, and SEM) of the BaTiO3 nanoparticles and thin-films, along with preliminary laser-induced phase transformation results.

  11. Effect of pre-tension on the peeling behavior of a bio-inspired nano-film and a hierarchical adhesive structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Zhilong; Chen, Shaohua

    2012-10-01

    Inspired by the reversible adhesion behaviors of geckos, the effects of pre-tension in a bio-inspired nano-film and a hierarchical structure on adhesion are studied theoretically. In the case with a uniformly distributing pre-tension in a spatula-like nano-film under peeling, a closed-form solution to a critical peeling angle is derived, below or above which the peel-off force is enhanced or reduced, respectively, compared with the case without pre-tension. The effects of a non-uniformly distributing pre-tension on adhesion are further investigated for both a spatula-like nano-film and a hierarchical structure-like gecko's seta. Compared with the case without pre-tension, the pre-tension, no matter uniform or non-uniform, can increase the adhesion force not only for the spatula-like nano-film but also for the hierarchical structure at a small peeling angle, while decrease it at a relatively large peeling angle. Furthermore, if the pre-tension is large enough, the effective adhesion energy of a hierarchical structure tends to vanish at a critical peeling angle, which results in spontaneous detachment of the hierarchical structure from the substrate. The present theoretical predictions can not only give some explanations on the existing experimental observation that gecko's seta always detaches at a specific angle and no apparent adhesion force can be detected above the critical angle but also provide a deep understanding for the reversible adhesion mechanism of geckos and be helpful to the design of biomimetic reversible adhesives.

  12. Bio-inspired Optimal Locomotion Reconfigurability of Quadruped Rovers using Central Pattern Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohra, Murtaza

    Legged rovers are often considered as viable solutions for traversing unknown terrain. This work addresses the optimal locomotion reconfigurability of quadruped rovers, which consists of obtaining optimal locomotion modes, and transitioning between them. A 2D sagittal plane rover model is considered based on a domestic cat. Using a Genetic Algorithm, the gait, pose and control variables that minimize torque or maximize speed are found separately. The optimization approach takes into account the elimination of leg impact, while considering the entire variable spectrum. The optimal solutions are consistent with other works on gait optimization, and are similar to gaits found in quadruped animals as well. An online model-free gait planning framework is also implemented, that is based on Central Pattern Generators is implemented. It is used to generate joint and control trajectories for any arbitrarily varying speed profile, and shown to regulate locomotion transition and speed modulation, both endogenously and continuously.

  13. Comparing Neuromorphic Solutions in Action: Implementing a Bio-Inspired Solution to a Benchmark Classification Task on Three Parallel-Computing Platforms.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Alan; Nowotny, Thomas; Schmuker, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Neuromorphic computing employs models of neuronal circuits to solve computing problems. Neuromorphic hardware systems are now becoming more widely available and "neuromorphic algorithms" are being developed. As they are maturing toward deployment in general research environments, it becomes important to assess and compare them in the context of the applications they are meant to solve. This should encompass not just task performance, but also ease of implementation, speed of processing, scalability, and power efficiency. Here, we report our practical experience of implementing a bio-inspired, spiking network for multivariate classification on three different platforms: the hybrid digital/analog Spikey system, the digital spike-based SpiNNaker system, and GeNN, a meta-compiler for parallel GPU hardware. We assess performance using a standard hand-written digit classification task. We found that whilst a different implementation approach was required for each platform, classification performances remained in line. This suggests that all three implementations were able to exercise the model's ability to solve the task rather than exposing inherent platform limits, although differences emerged when capacity was approached. With respect to execution speed and power consumption, we found that for each platform a large fraction of the computing time was spent outside of the neuromorphic device, on the host machine. Time was spent in a range of combinations of preparing the model, encoding suitable input spiking data, shifting data, and decoding spike-encoded results. This is also where a large proportion of the total power was consumed, most markedly for the SpiNNaker and Spikey systems. We conclude that the simulation efficiency advantage of the assessed specialized hardware systems is easily lost in excessive host-device communication, or non-neuronal parts of the computation. These results emphasize the need to optimize the host-device communication architecture for

  14. Comparing Neuromorphic Solutions in Action: Implementing a Bio-Inspired Solution to a Benchmark Classification Task on Three Parallel-Computing Platforms

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Alan; Nowotny, Thomas; Schmuker, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Neuromorphic computing employs models of neuronal circuits to solve computing problems. Neuromorphic hardware systems are now becoming more widely available and “neuromorphic algorithms” are being developed. As they are maturing toward deployment in general research environments, it becomes important to assess and compare them in the context of the applications they are meant to solve. This should encompass not just task performance, but also ease of implementation, speed of processing, scalability, and power efficiency. Here, we report our practical experience of implementing a bio-inspired, spiking network for multivariate classification on three different platforms: the hybrid digital/analog Spikey system, the digital spike-based SpiNNaker system, and GeNN, a meta-compiler for parallel GPU hardware. We assess performance using a standard hand-written digit classification task. We found that whilst a different implementation approach was required for each platform, classification performances remained in line. This suggests that all three implementations were able to exercise the model's ability to solve the task rather than exposing inherent platform limits, although differences emerged when capacity was approached. With respect to execution speed and power consumption, we found that for each platform a large fraction of the computing time was spent outside of the neuromorphic device, on the host machine. Time was spent in a range of combinations of preparing the model, encoding suitable input spiking data, shifting data, and decoding spike-encoded results. This is also where a large proportion of the total power was consumed, most markedly for the SpiNNaker and Spikey systems. We conclude that the simulation efficiency advantage of the assessed specialized hardware systems is easily lost in excessive host-device communication, or non-neuronal parts of the computation. These results emphasize the need to optimize the host-device communication architecture

  15. The Tipping Point of Robotic Surgery In Healthcare: From Master-Slave to Flexible Access Bio-Inspired Platforms.

    PubMed

    Athanasiou, Thanos; Ashrafian, Hutan; Rao, Christopher; Yang, Guang-Zhong; Darzi, Ara

    2011-12-01

    Surgical robots were introduced to overcome the technical issues of limited operative dexterity and inadequate visualization in complex body areas. Current surgical robotic systems are based on a master-slave relationship in which the master-surgeon provides operative guidance for the slave-robot to perform operative tasks. Robotic operations are most frequently applied in urology (primarily focusing on prostatectomy) and cardiac surgery. The evolution of surgical robotics has made significant strides in the past decade. There are, however, some limitatio0The future of robotic surgery promises several augmentations to provide improvements in surgical visualization, somatosensory perception, and enhanced robot-surgeon interactions. These can be achieved through advances in robotic research and academic healthcare leadership to develop the next generation of surgical robots such as the novel flexible access bio-inspired (FAB) platforms. The drive to move toward ever less-invasive and safer procedures while maintaining high-quality treatment outcomes has maintained the momentum of progress since the initial birth of minimally invasive surgery, so that robotic surgery can be increasingly applied in a wider range of healthcare settings. PMID:22504967

  16. Synthesis and characterizations of hierarchical biomorphic titania oxide by a bio-inspired bottom-up assembly solution technique

    SciTech Connect

    Dong Qun; Su Huilan Cao Wei; Zhang Di; Guo Qixin; Lai Yijian

    2007-03-15

    As a representative semiconductor metal oxide, hierarchical biomorphic mesoporous TiO{sub 2} with interwoven meshwork conformation was successfully prepared using eggshell membrane (ESM) as a biotemplate by an aqueous soakage technique followed by calcination treatment. The synthesis conditions were systematically investigated by controlling the concentration, the pH value of the precursor impregnant, and so on. The nucleation, growth, and assembly into ESM-biomorphic TiO{sub 2} in our work depended more on the functions of ESM biomacromolecules as well as the processing conditions. As-prepared TiO{sub 2} meshwork exhibiting hierarchical porous structure with the pore size from 2 nm up to 4 {mu}m, was composed of intersectant fibers assembled by nanocrystallites at three dimensions. Based on the researches into the N{sub 2} adsorption-desorption isothermal and corresponding BJH pore-size distribution, the biomorphic TiO{sub 2} would arose interesting applications in some fields such as photocatalysis, gas sensors, antistatic coating, dye-sensitized solar cells, etc. This mild method and the relevant ideas offer a feasible path to synthesize a new family of functional materials by integrating material science, chemistry, and biotechnology. - Graphical abstract: Hierarchical mesoporous TiO{sub 2} is assembled by nanoparticles from the nanoscale to the macroscale through a bio-inspired sol-gel approach with eggshell membrane used as the biotemplate. As-prepared hierarchical titania shows porous characters within the pore size range of 2 nm-4 {mu}m.

  17. Bio-inspired green synthesis of Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles using watermelon rinds and their catalytic activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prasad, Ch.; Gangadhara, S.; Venkateswarlu, P.

    2016-08-01

    Novel and bio-inspired magnetic nanoparticles were synthesized using watermelon rinds (WR) which are nontoxic and biodegradable. Watermelon rind extract was used as a solvent and capping and reducing agent in the synthesis. The Fe3o4 MNPs were characterized by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and vibrating sample magnetometer techniques (VSM). XRD studies revealed a high degree of crystalline and monophasic Fe nanoparticles of face-centered cubic stricture. FTIR analysis proved that particles are reduced and stabilized in solution by the capping agent that is likely to be proteins secreted by the biomass. The present process in an excellent candidate for the synthesis of iron nanoparticles that is simple, easy to execute, pollutant free and inexpensive. A practical and convenient method for the synthesis of highly stable and small-sized iron nanoparticles with a narrow distribution from 2 to 20 nm is reported. Also, the MNPs present in higher saturation magnetization (Ms) of 14.2 emu/g demonstrate tremendous magnetic response behavior. However, the synthesized iron nanoparticles were used as a catalyst for the preparation of biologically interesting 2-oxo-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyrimidine derivatives in high yields. These results exhibited that the synthesized Fe3O4 MNPs could be used as a catalyst in organic synthesis.

  18. Obstacle traversal and self-righting of bio-inspired robots reveal the physics of multi-modal locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chen; Fearing, Ronald; Full, Robert

    Most animals move in nature in a variety of locomotor modes. For example, to traverse obstacles like dense vegetation, cockroaches can climb over, push across, reorient their bodies to maneuver through slits, or even transition among these modes forming diverse locomotor pathways; if flipped over, they can also self-right using wings or legs to generate body pitch or roll. By contrast, most locomotion studies have focused on a single mode such as running, walking, or jumping, and robots are still far from capable of life-like, robust, multi-modal locomotion in the real world. Here, we present two recent studies using bio-inspired robots, together with new locomotion energy landscapes derived from locomotor-environment interaction physics, to begin to understand the physics of multi-modal locomotion. (1) Our experiment of a cockroach-inspired legged robot traversing grass-like beam obstacles reveals that, with a terradynamically ``streamlined'' rounded body like that of the insect, robot traversal becomes more probable by accessing locomotor pathways that overcome lower potential energy barriers. (2) Our experiment of a cockroach-inspired self-righting robot further suggests that body vibrations are crucial for exploring locomotion energy landscapes and reaching lower barrier pathways. Finally, we posit that our new framework of locomotion energy landscapes holds promise to better understand and predict multi-modal biological and robotic movement.

  19. Controlled RAFT Polymerization of 2-Vinyl-4,4-Dimethylazlactone (VDMA): A Facile Route to Bio-Inspired Polymer Surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Lokitz, Bradley S; Messman, Jamie M; Hinestrosa Salazar, Juan Pablo; Alonzo Calderon, Jose E; Verduzco, Rafael; Brown, Rebecca H; Osa, Masashi; Ankner, John Francis; Kilbey, II, S Michael

    2009-01-01

    We report the controlled radical polymerization of 2-vinyl-4,4-dimethyl azlactone (VDMA), a 2-alkenyl-2-oxazolin-5-one monomer that contains a polymerizable vinyl moiety as well as a highly reactive, pendant azlactone as well as solution characterizations and surface attachment and functionaliztion. Reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) was used to polymerize of VDMA in benzene at 65 C using either 2-(2-cyanopropyl) dithiobenzoate (CPDB) or 2-dodecylsulfanylthiocarbonyl-sulfanyl-2-methylpropionic acid (DMP) as RAFT chain transfer agents (CTAs). The pseudo first order kinetics and resultant well-defined polymers of low polydispersity indicate that both CTAs afford control over the RAFT polymerization of VDMA. Dynamic and static light scattering and small angle neutron scattering were performed to determine the dn/dc, weight-average molecular weight, radius of gyration, and second virial coefficient of VDMA homopolymers in THF. Additionally, well-defined polymers of VDMA containing carboxyl end groups were covalently attached to epoxy modified silicon wafers via esterification to produce polymeric scaffolds that could be subsequently functionalized for various bio-inspired applications.

  20. Bio-inspired Plasmonic Nanoarchitectured Hybrid System Towards Enhanced Far Red-to-Near Infrared Solar Photocatalysis.

    PubMed

    Yan, Runyu; Chen, Min; Zhou, Han; Liu, Tian; Tang, Xingwei; Zhang, Ke; Zhu, Hanxing; Ye, Jinhua; Zhang, Di; Fan, Tongxiang

    2016-01-01

    Solar conversion to fuels or to electricity in semiconductors using far red-to-near infrared (NIR) light, which accounts for about 40% of solar energy, is highly significant. One main challenge is the development of novel strategies for activity promotion and new basic mechanisms for NIR response. Mother Nature has evolved to smartly capture far red-to-NIR light via their intelligent systems due to unique micro/nanoarchitectures, thus motivating us for biomimetic design. Here we report the first demonstration of a new strategy, based on adopting nature's far red-to-NIR responsive architectures for an efficient bio-inspired photocatalytic system. The system is constructed by controlled assembly of light-harvesting plasmonic nanoantennas onto a typical photocatalytic unit with butterfly wings' 3D micro/nanoarchitectures. Experiments and finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations demonstrate the structural effects on obvious far red-to-NIR photocatalysis enhancement, which originates from (1) Enhancing far red-to-NIR (700~1200 nm) harvesting, up to 25%. (2) Enhancing electric-field amplitude of localized surface plasmon (LSPs) to more than 3.5 times than that of the non-structured one, which promotes the rate of electron-hole pair formation, thus substantially reinforcing photocatalysis. This proof-of-concept study provides a new methodology for NIR photocatalysis and would potentially guide future conceptually new NIR responsive system designs. PMID:26818680

  1. Improvement of water-repellent and hydrodynamic drag reduction properties on bio-inspired surface and exploring sharkskin effect mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Yuehao; Liu, Yufei; Anderson, James; Li, Xiang; Li, Yuanyue

    2015-07-01

    Bio-inspired/biomimetic surface technologies focusing on sharkskin, lotus leaf, gecko feet, and others have attracted so lots of attentions from all over the world; meanwhile, they have also brought great advantages and profits for mankind. Sharkskin drag-reducing/low-resistance surface is the imperative consequence of nature selection and self-evolution in the long history, which can enable itself accommodate the living environments perfectly. Generally speaking, sharkskin effect can become transparent only in some certain velocity scope. How to expand its application range and enhance the drag reduction function further has developed into the urgent issue. In this article, the water-repellent and hydrodynamic drag-reducing effects are improved by adjusting sharkskin texture. The experimental results show that contact angle of more than 150° is achieved, and drag-reducing property is improved to some extent. In addition, the drag-reducing mechanism is explored and generalized from different aspects adopting the numerical simulation, which has important significance to comprehend sharkskin effect.

  2. Electrochemical properties of large-sized pouch-type lithium ion batteries with bio-inspired organic cathode materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeo, Jae-Seong; Yoo, Eun-Ji; Ha, Sang-Hyeon; Cheong, Dong-Ik; Cho, Sung-Baek

    2016-05-01

    To investigate the feasibility of scaling up bio-inspired organic materials as cathode materials in lithium ion batteries, large-sized pouch cells are successfully prepared via tape casting using lumichrome with an alloxazine structure and aqueous styrene butadiene rubber-carboxymethyl cellulose (SBR-CMC) binders. A battery module with a two-in-series, six-in-parallel (2S6P) configuration is also successfully fabricated and is able to power blue LEDs (850 mW). Lumichrome shows no structural changes during the fabrication processes used to produce the positive electrode. The large-sized pouch cells show two sets of cathodic and anodic peaks with average potentials of 2.58 V and 2.26 V vs. Li/Li+, respectively. The initial discharge capacities are 142 mAh g-1 and 148 mAh g-1 for ethylene carbonate-dimethyl carbonate (EC-DMC) and tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether (TEGDME) electrolytes, respectively, similar to that of a coin cell (149 mAh g-1). The EC-DMC-injected pouch cells exhibit higher rate performance and cyclability than the TEGDME-injected ones. The TEGDME electrolyte is not suitable for lithium metal anodes because of electrolyte decomposition and subsequent cell swelling.

  3. Bio-inspired Plasmonic Nanoarchitectured Hybrid System Towards Enhanced Far Red-to-Near Infrared Solar Photocatalysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Runyu; Chen, Min; Zhou, Han; Liu, Tian; Tang, Xingwei; Zhang, Ke; Zhu, Hanxing; Ye, Jinhua; Zhang, Di; Fan, Tongxiang

    2016-01-01

    Solar conversion to fuels or to electricity in semiconductors using far red-to-near infrared (NIR) light, which accounts for about 40% of solar energy, is highly significant. One main challenge is the development of novel strategies for activity promotion and new basic mechanisms for NIR response. Mother Nature has evolved to smartly capture far red-to-NIR light via their intelligent systems due to unique micro/nanoarchitectures, thus motivating us for biomimetic design. Here we report the first demonstration of a new strategy, based on adopting nature’s far red-to-NIR responsive architectures for an efficient bio-inspired photocatalytic system. The system is constructed by controlled assembly of light-harvesting plasmonic nanoantennas onto a typical photocatalytic unit with butterfly wings’ 3D micro/nanoarchitectures. Experiments and finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations demonstrate the structural effects on obvious far red-to-NIR photocatalysis enhancement, which originates from (1) Enhancing far red-to-NIR (700~1200 nm) harvesting, up to 25%. (2) Enhancing electric-field amplitude of localized surface plasmon (LSPs) to more than 3.5 times than that of the non-structured one, which promotes the rate of electron-hole pair formation, thus substantially reinforcing photocatalysis. This proof-of-concept study provides a new methodology for NIR photocatalysis and would potentially guide future conceptually new NIR responsive system designs.

  4. Bio-inspired fabrication of hierarchical Ni-Fe-P coated skin collagen fibers for high-performance microwave absorption.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoling; Liao, Xuepin; Zhang, Wenhua; Shi, Bi

    2015-01-21

    In the present investigation, skin collagen fiber (CF) with a well defined hierarchical 3D fibrous structure was employed for the bio-inspired fabrication of high-performance microwave absorption materials. The hierarchical 3D structure of the CF was retained in the CF@Ni-Fe-P composites, and the formation of the Ni-Fe-P coating on the CF surface was identified by XRD and XPS analysis. Based on the electromagnetism parameter measurements, the maximum reflection loss (RL) of the CF@Ni-Fe-P composites reached -31.0 dB, and the width of the absorption band where reflection loss values exceeded -10.0 dB covered the whole Ku-band and some parts of the X-band (9.5-18.0 GHz). The complex permittivity and complex permeability measurements indicated that electronic loss and magnetic loss were involved in the CF@Ni-Fe-P composites for microwave absorption. In addition, due to the magnetic properties of the Ni-Fe-P coating, these CF@Ni-Fe-P composites exhibited excellent magnetic characteristics with high saturation magnetization and low coercivity values. The present investigation indicates a new possibility for the bio-matrix-based fabrication of high-performance microwave absorbing materials with lightweight and efficient absorption properties. PMID:25484199

  5. A Benchtop Closed-loop System Controlled by a Bio-Inspired Silicon Implementation of the Pancreatic β Cell

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Nick; Georgiou, Pantelis; Johnston, Desmond; Toumazou, Christofer

    2009-01-01

    The normal pancreatic β-cell membrane depolarizes in response to increasing concentrations of glucose in a bursting pattern. At <7 mM (126 mg/dl), the cell is electrically silent. The bursting pulse width increases as glucose rises >7 mM (126 mg/dl) until a continuous train of bursting is seen at >25 mM (450 mg/dl). A bio-inspired silicon device has been developed using analogue electronics to implement membrane depolarization of the β cell. The device is ultralow powered, miniaturized (5 × 5 mm), and produces a bursting output identical to that characterized in electrophysiological studies. Objective The goal of this study was to demonstrate the ability of silicon implementation of β-cell electrophysiology to respond to a simulated glucose input and to drive an infusion pump in vitro. Method The silicon device response to a current source was recorded at varying simulated glucose concentrations. Subsequently, the bursting response to a changing analyte concentration measured by an amperometric enzyme electrode was converted to a voltage, driving a syringe pump loaded with a 50-ml syringe containing water. Results Bursting responses are comparable to those recorded in electrophysiology. Silicon β-cell implementation bursts with a pulse width proportional to concentration and is able to drive an infusion pump. Conclusion This is the first in vitro demonstration of closed loop insulin delivery utilizing miniaturized silicon implementation of β-cell physiology in analogue electronics. PMID:20144397

  6. Bio-inspired Plasmonic Nanoarchitectured Hybrid System Towards Enhanced Far Red-to-Near Infrared Solar Photocatalysis

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Runyu; Chen, Min; Zhou, Han; Liu, Tian; Tang, Xingwei; Zhang, Ke; Zhu, Hanxing; Ye, Jinhua; Zhang, Di; Fan, Tongxiang

    2016-01-01

    Solar conversion to fuels or to electricity in semiconductors using far red-to-near infrared (NIR) light, which accounts for about 40% of solar energy, is highly significant. One main challenge is the development of novel strategies for activity promotion and new basic mechanisms for NIR response. Mother Nature has evolved to smartly capture far red-to-NIR light via their intelligent systems due to unique micro/nanoarchitectures, thus motivating us for biomimetic design. Here we report the first demonstration of a new strategy, based on adopting nature’s far red-to-NIR responsive architectures for an efficient bio-inspired photocatalytic system. The system is constructed by controlled assembly of light-harvesting plasmonic nanoantennas onto a typical photocatalytic unit with butterfly wings’ 3D micro/nanoarchitectures. Experiments and finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations demonstrate the structural effects on obvious far red-to-NIR photocatalysis enhancement, which originates from (1) Enhancing far red-to-NIR (700~1200 nm) harvesting, up to 25%. (2) Enhancing electric-field amplitude of localized surface plasmon (LSPs) to more than 3.5 times than that of the non-structured one, which promotes the rate of electron-hole pair formation, thus substantially reinforcing photocatalysis. This proof-of-concept study provides a new methodology for NIR photocatalysis and would potentially guide future conceptually new NIR responsive system designs. PMID:26818680

  7. Lightweight mechanical amplifiers for rolled dielectric elastomer actuators and their integration with bio-inspired wing flappers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, Gih-Keong; Lim, Hoong-Ta; Teo, Jing-Ying; Chin, Yao-Wei

    2014-02-01

    Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) are attractive for use in bio-inspired flapping-wing robots because they have high work density (specific energy) and can produce a large actuation strain. Although the active membrane of a dielectric elastomer is lightweight, the support structure that pre-tensions the elastomeric membrane is massive and it lowers the overall work density. If the DEA is to be used successfully to drive flapping-wing robots, its support structure must be as lightweight as possible. In this work, we designed, analysed, and developed a lightweight shell using a cross-ply laminate of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) to pre-strain a rolled DEA. The CFRP shell was shown to weigh 24.3% of the total mass for the whole DEA assembly, while providing up to 35.0% axial pre-strain to a rolled DEA (BJB-5005 silicone rubber). This DEA assembly using the CFRP shell achieved 30.9% of the theoretical work density for a BJB-TC5005 membrane at 33.5 MV m-1. In comparison, spring rolls with a massive spring core were reported with overall work density merely 10-20% of the maximum value. Furthermore, this CFRP shell can amplify an axial DEA stroke into a larger transverse shell deformation. With these deformation characteristics, this CFRP shell and a rolled DEA were successfully integrated with an insect-inspired thoracic mechanism and they were shown to be feasible to drive it for a flapping wing.

  8. Enhancing thermal reliability of fiber-optic sensors for bio-inspired applications at ultra-high temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Donghoon; Kim, Heon-Young; Kim, Dae-Hyun

    2014-07-01

    The rapid growth of bio-(inspired) sensors has led to an improvement in modern healthcare and human-robot systems in recent years. Higher levels of reliability and better flexibility, essential features of these sensors, are very much required in many application fields (e.g. applications at ultra-high temperatures). Fiber-optic sensors, and fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors in particular, are being widely studied as suitable sensors for improved structural health monitoring (SHM) due to their many merits. To enhance the thermal reliability of FBG sensors, thermal sensitivity, generally expressed as αf + ξf and considered a constant, should be investigated more precisely. For this purpose, the governing equation of FBG sensors is modified using differential derivatives between the wavelength shift and the temperature change in this study. Through a thermal test ranging from RT to 900 °C, the thermal sensitivity of FBG sensors is successfully examined and this guarantees thermal reliability of FBG sensors at ultra-high temperatures. In detail, αf + ξf has a non-linear dependence on temperature and varies from 6.0 × 10-6 °C-1 (20 °C) to 10.6 × 10-6 °C-1 (650 °C). Also, FBGs should be carefully used for applications at ultra-high temperatures due to signal disappearance near 900 °C.

  9. Tension-induced tunable corrugation in bio-inspired two-phase soft composite materials: mechanisms and implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elbanna, Ahmed; Chen, Qianli

    We numerically investigate the elastic deformation response of a two-phase bio-inspired soft composite material under externally applied concentric tension using the finite element method. We show that by carefully designing the inclusion pattern it is possible to induce corrugations normal to the direction of stretch. By stacking 1D composite fibers to form 2D membranes, these corrugations collectively lead to the formation of membrane channels with shapes and sizes that are tunable by the level of stretch. Furthermore, we show that by using specific inclusion patterns in laminated plates, it is possible to create pop-ups and troughs enabling the development of complex 3D geometries from planar construction. We have found that the corrugation amplitude increases with the stiffness of inclusion and its eccentricity from the tension axis. We discuss the mechanisms leading to the development of corrugations as well as its different implications. We discuss applications for this design in a variety of fields including tunable band gap formation, surface roughness controllability, auxetic materials and toughness enhancement via programmable evolving geometrical effects..

  10. Coaxial electrospinning of WO3 nanotubes functionalized with bio-inspired Pd catalysts and their superior hydrogen sensing performance.

    PubMed

    Choi, Seon-Jin; Chattopadhyay, Saptarshi; Kim, Jae Jin; Kim, Sang-Joon; Tuller, Harry L; Rutledge, Gregory C; Kim, Il-Doo

    2016-04-28

    Macroporous WO3 nanotubes (NTs) functionalized with nanoscale catalysts were fabricated using coaxial electrospinning combined with sacrificial templating and protein-encapsulated catalysts. The macroporous thin-walled nanotubular structures were obtained by introducing colloidal polystyrene (PS) particles to a shell solution of W precursor and poly(vinylpyrrolidone). After coaxial electrospinning with a core liquid of mineral oil and subsequent calcination, open pores with an average diameter of 173 nm were formed on the surface of WO3 NTs due to decomposition of the PS colloids. In addition, catalytic Pd nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized using bio-inspired protein cages, i.e., apoferritin, and uniformly dispersed within the shell solution and subsequently on the WO3 NTs. The resulting Pd functionalized macroporous WO3 NTs were demonstrated to be high performance hydrogen (H2) sensors. In particular, Pd-functionalized macroporous WO3 NTs exhibited a very high H2 response (Rair/Rgas) of 17.6 at 500 ppm with a short response time. Furthermore, the NTs were shown to be highly selective for H2 compared to other gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), ammonia (NH3), and methane (CH4). The results demonstrate a new synthetic method to prepare highly porous nanotubular structures with well-dispersed nanoscale catalysts, which can provide improved microstructures for chemical sensing. PMID:26691720

  11. A Bio-Inspired, Heavy-Metal-Free, Dual-Electrolyte Liquid Battery towards Sustainable Energy Storage.

    PubMed

    Ding, Yu; Yu, Guihua

    2016-04-01

    Wide-scale exploitation of renewable energy requires low-cost efficient energy storage devices. The use of metal-free, inexpensive redox-active organic materials represents a promising direction for environmental-friendly, cost-effective sustainable energy storage. To this end, a liquid battery is designed using hydroquinone (H2 BQ) aqueous solution as catholyte and graphite in aprotic electrolyte as anode. The working potential can reach 3.4 V, with specific capacity of 395 mA h g(-1) and stable capacity retention about 99.7 % per cycle. Such high potential and capacity is achieved using only C, H and O atoms as building blocks for redox species, and the replacement of Li metal with graphite anode can circumvent potential safety issues. As H2 BQ can be extracted from biomass directly and its redox reaction mimics the bio-electrochemical process of quinones in nature, using such a bio-inspired organic compound in batteries enables access to greener and more sustainable energy-storage technology. PMID:26958787

  12. Bio-inspired micro-nano structured surface with structural color and anisotropic wettability on Cu substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yan; Li, Shuyi; Niu, Shichao; Cao, Xiaowen; Han, Zhiwu; Ren, Luquan

    2016-08-01

    Inspired by the unique creatures in the nature, the femtosecond laser technology has been usually used to fabricate the periodic microstructures due to its advantages of rapidness, simplicity, ease of large-area fabrication, and simultaneously offering dual micro/nano-scale structures simply via one-step process for a wide variety of materials. By changing the experimental conditions, multi-functional surfaces which possess superhydrophobicity and structural colors could be achieved on copper substrate. In addition, the apparent contact angle can reach 144.3° without any further modification, which also exhibits the anisotropic wettability. Moreover, it can be inferred that higher laser fluence can lead to a larger CA within a certain range. At the same time, due to the change of laser processing parameters, the obtained surfaces present different structural colors. This study may expand the applications of bio-inspired functional materials because multiple colors and hydrophobicity are both important features in the real life and industrial applications, such as display, decoration, and anti-counterfeiting technology etc.

  13. Toward a three-dimensional viscous vortex particle method for numerical investigations of bio-inspired locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eldredge, Jeff

    2008-11-01

    Biological mechanics of aerial and aquatic locomotion are characterized by the reaction force generated by the fluid against highly deforming structures and the resultant vortical wake produced by this interaction. These two features should be central to a high-fidelity computational tool devoted to exploration of bio-inspired mechanics. Motivated by such problems, we present the development of a viscous vortex particle method with coupled body dynamics. The previously developed and validated tool for two-dimensional problems is briefly reviewed. The interaction between vorticity generation, reaction force, and body dynamics, which constitutes the fluid-structure coupling in the method, is discussed, and the capabilities of the method are demonstrated on the passive propulsion of a fish-like system in the wake of an obstacle. The method is extended to three-dimensional problems, and the various components of the solver are highlighted. The core routines of the three-dimensional tool make use of the Parallel Particle-Mesh library, developed by Koumoutsakos and co-workers (J. Comput. Phys., 215, 2006). The new method is demonstrated with preliminary results of a simple model for a dolphin tail with flexible flukes.

  14. Bio-inspired turbine blades offer new perspectives for wind energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiria, Benjamin; Cognet, Vincent; Courrech Du Pont, Sylvain; PMMH Team; MSC Team

    2014-11-01

    The efficiency of wind turbines is especially poor if the wind speed is too low for the working range of the rotor, or if the oncoming wind has a too large incident angle with respect to the rotor axis. The consequence is that a large amount of potential available wind energy is not converted by the turbines, leading to heavy energetic and economic losses. The present work introduces a solution to overcome this technological limitation, using new types of blades connected to the rotors. This new type of blades is inspired by recent studies showing how insects improve flight performance by taking benefit from the flexibility of their wings (Ramananarivo et al. PNAS, 2011). Here, we show that, by bending along the chord under the action of the wind, the deformable blade plays the role of a shape factor to reorientate the torque in the direction of the rotation of the rotor, an especially helpful feature for critical wind conditions. The flexibility of the wing can significantly extend the performance range of wind turbines to low wind speeds and high azimuthal incoming wind directions, solving the technological barrier specific to this type of machines. The consequences of the presented results are outstanding for renewable solutions. Our estimation based on real wind data predicts a large increase in energy production, which is drawn using passive, non-consuming mechanisms, from the reservoir of energy available at critical wind conditions.

  15. A bio-inspired infrared imager with on chip object computation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCarley, Paul L.; Caulfield, John T.

    2014-06-01

    This paper discusses a Biologically Inspired Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) imager that performs on chip object detection using temporal and spatial processing embedded in the imager's readout integrated circuit (ROIC). The sensor circuit is designed to detect pixel level intensity changes and correlate the change with nearby intensity changes using multiple thresholding criteria to output object exceedances. The sensor is capable of automatically outputting both normal video and also a reduced data set of binarized exceedances. Therefore this SWIR sensor with onboard temporal spatial sensing should be well suited to both manned and unmanned sensing scenarios which could benefit from automated object detection and reduced data sets.

  16. Bio-inspired flexible joints with passive feathering for robotic fish pectoral fins.

    PubMed

    Behbahani, Sanaz Bazaz; Tan, Xiaobo

    2016-06-01

    In this paper a novel flexible joint is proposed for robotic fish pectoral fins, which enables a swimming behavior emulating the fin motions of many aquatic animals. In particular, the pectoral fin operates primarily in the rowing mode, while undergoing passive feathering during the recovery stroke to reduce hydrodynamic drag on the fin. The latter enables effective locomotion even with symmetric base actuation during power and recovery strokes. A dynamic model is developed to facilitate the understanding and design of the joint, where blade element theory is used to calculate the hydrodynamic forces on the pectoral fins, and the joint is modeled as a paired torsion spring and damper. Experimental results on a robotic fish prototype are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the joint mechanism, validate the proposed model, and indicate the utility of the proposed model for the optimal design of joint depth and stiffness in achieving the trade-off between swimming speed and mechanical efficiency. PMID:27144946

  17. Self-propelled swimming simulations of bio-inspired smart structures.

    PubMed

    Daghooghi, Mohsen; Borazjani, Iman

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents self-propelled swimming simulations of a foldable structure, whose folded configuration is a box. For self-locomotion through water the structure unfolds and undulates. To guide the design of the structure and understand how it should undulate to achieve either highest speed or maximize efficiency during locomotion, several kinematic parameters were systematically varied in the simulations: the wave type (standing wave versus traveling wave), the smoothness of undulations (smooth undulations versus undulations of rigid links), the mode of undulations (carangiform: mackerel-like versus anguilliform: eel-like undulations), and the maximum amplitude of undulations. We show that the swimmers with standing wave are slow and inefficient because they are not able to produce thrust using the added-mass mechanism. Among the tested types of undulation at low Reynolds number (Re) regime of [Formula: see text] (Strouhal number of about 1.0), structures that employ carangiform undulations can swim faster, whereas anguilliform swimmers are more economic, i.e., using less power they can swim a longer distance. Another finding of our simulations is that structures which are made of rigid links are typically less efficient (lower propulsive and power efficiencies and also lower swimming speed) compared with smoothly undulating ones because a higher added-mass force is generated by smooth undulations. The wake of all the swimmers bifurcated at the low Re regime because of the higher lateral relative to the axial velocity (high Strouhal number) that advects the vortices laterally creating a double row of vortices in the wake. In addition, we show that the wake cannot be used to predict the performance of the swimmers because the net force in each cycle is zero for self-propelled bodies and the pressure term is not negligible compared to the other terms. PMID:27501748

  18. Time-recovering PCI-AER interface for bio-inspired spiking systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paz-Vicente, R.; Linares-Barranco, A.; Cascado, D.; Vicente, S.; Jimenez, G.; Civit, A.

    2005-06-01

    Address Event Representation (AER) is an emergent neuromorphic interchip communication protocol that allows for real-time virtual massive connectivity between huge number neurons located on different chips. By exploiting high speed digital communication circuits (with nano-seconds timings), synaptic neural connections can be time multiplexed, while neural activity signals (with mili-seconds timings) are sampled at low frequencies. Also, neurons generate 'events' according to their activity levels. More active neurons generate more events per unit time, and access the interchip communication channel more frequently, while neurons with low activity consume less communication bandwidth. When building multi-chip muti-layered AER systems it is absolutely necessary to have a computer interface that allows (a) to read AER interchip traffic into the computer and visualize it on screen, and (b) inject a sequence of events at some point of the AER structure. This is necessary for testing and debugging complex AER systems. This paper presents a PCI to AER interface, that dispatches a sequence of events received from the PCI bus with embedded timing information to establish when each event will be delivered. A set of specialized states machines has been introduced to recovery the possible time delays introduced by the asynchronous AER bus. On the input channel, the interface capture events assigning a timestamp and delivers them through the PCI bus to MATLAB applications. It has been implemented in real time hardware using VHDL and it has been tested in a PCI-AER board, developed by authors, that includes a Spartan II 200 FPGA. The demonstration hardware is currently capable to send and receive events at a peak rate of 8,3 Mev/sec, and a typical rate of 1 Mev/sec.

  19. Bio-inspired digital signal processing for fast radionuclide mixture identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thevenin, M.; Bichler, O.; Thiam, C.; Bobin, C.; Lourenço, V.

    2015-05-01

    Countries are trying to equip their public transportation infrastructure with fixed radiation portals and detectors to detect radiological threat. Current works usually focus on neutron detection, which could be useless in the case of dirty bomb that would not use fissile material. Another approach, such as gamma dose rate variation monitoring is a good indication of the presence of radionuclide. However, some legitimate products emit large quantities of natural gamma rays; environment also emits gamma rays naturally. They can lead to false detections. Moreover, such radio-activity could be used to hide a threat such as material to make a dirty bomb. Consequently, radionuclide identification is a requirement and is traditionally performed by gamma spectrometry using unique spectral signature of each radionuclide. These approaches require high-resolution detectors, sufficient integration time to get enough statistics and large computing capacities for data analysis. High-resolution detectors are fragile and costly, making them bad candidates for large scale homeland security applications. Plastic scintillator and NaI detectors fit with such applications but their resolution makes identification difficult, especially radionuclides mixes. This paper proposes an original signal processing strategy based on artificial spiking neural networks to enable fast radionuclide identification at low count rate and for mixture. It presents results obtained for different challenging mixtures of radionuclides using a NaI scintillator. Results show that a correct identification is performed with less than hundred counts and no false identification is reported, enabling quick identification of a moving threat in a public transportation. Further work will focus on using plastic scintillators.

  20. A bio-inspired memory device based on interfacing Physarum polycephalum with an organic semiconductor

    SciTech Connect

    Romeo, Agostino; Dimonte, Alice; Tarabella, Giuseppe; D’Angelo, Pasquale E-mail: iannotta@imem.cnr.it; Erokhin, Victor; Iannotta, Salvatore E-mail: iannotta@imem.cnr.it

    2015-01-01

    The development of devices able to detect and record ion fluxes is a crucial point in order to understand the mechanisms that regulate communication and life of organisms. Here, we take advantage of the combined electronic and ionic conduction properties of a conducting polymer to develop a hybrid organic/living device with a three-terminal configuration, using the Physarum polycephalum Cell (PPC) slime mould as a living bio-electrolyte. An over-oxidation process induces a conductivity switch in the polymer, due to the ionic flux taking place at the PPC/polymer interface. This behaviour endows a current-depending memory effect to the device.

  1. Coaxial electrospinning of WO3 nanotubes functionalized with bio-inspired Pd catalysts and their superior hydrogen sensing performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Seon-Jin; Chattopadhyay, Saptarshi; Kim, Jae Jin; Kim, Sang-Joon; Tuller, Harry L.; Rutledge, Gregory C.; Kim, Il-Doo

    2016-04-01

    Macroporous WO3 nanotubes (NTs) functionalized with nanoscale catalysts were fabricated using coaxial electrospinning combined with sacrificial templating and protein-encapsulated catalysts. The macroporous thin-walled nanotubular structures were obtained by introducing colloidal polystyrene (PS) particles to a shell solution of W precursor and poly(vinylpyrrolidone). After coaxial electrospinning with a core liquid of mineral oil and subsequent calcination, open pores with an average diameter of 173 nm were formed on the surface of WO3 NTs due to decomposition of the PS colloids. In addition, catalytic Pd nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized using bio-inspired protein cages, i.e., apoferritin, and uniformly dispersed within the shell solution and subsequently on the WO3 NTs. The resulting Pd functionalized macroporous WO3 NTs were demonstrated to be high performance hydrogen (H2) sensors. In particular, Pd-functionalized macroporous WO3 NTs exhibited a very high H2 response (Rair/Rgas) of 17.6 at 500 ppm with a short response time. Furthermore, the NTs were shown to be highly selective for H2 compared to other gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), ammonia (NH3), and methane (CH4). The results demonstrate a new synthetic method to prepare highly porous nanotubular structures with well-dispersed nanoscale catalysts, which can provide improved microstructures for chemical sensing.Macroporous WO3 nanotubes (NTs) functionalized with nanoscale catalysts were fabricated using coaxial electrospinning combined with sacrificial templating and protein-encapsulated catalysts. The macroporous thin-walled nanotubular structures were obtained by introducing colloidal polystyrene (PS) particles to a shell solution of W precursor and poly(vinylpyrrolidone). After coaxial electrospinning with a core liquid of mineral oil and subsequent calcination, open pores with an average diameter of 173 nm were formed on the surface of WO3 NTs due to decomposition of the PS colloids. In addition

  2. Mobile Robots for Localizing Gas Emission Sources on Landfill Sites: Is Bio-Inspiration the Way to Go?

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez Bennetts, Victor; Lilienthal, Achim J.; Neumann, Patrick P.; Trincavelli, Marco

    2011-01-01

    Roboticists often take inspiration from animals for designing sensors, actuators, or algorithms that control the behavior of robots. Bio-inspiration is motivated with the uncanny ability of animals to solve complex tasks like recognizing and manipulating objects, walking on uneven terrains, or navigating to the source of an odor plume. In particular the task of tracking an odor plume up to its source has nearly exclusively been addressed using biologically inspired algorithms and robots have been developed, for example, to mimic the behavior of moths, dung beetles, or lobsters. In this paper we argue that biomimetic approaches to gas source localization are of limited use, primarily because animals differ fundamentally in their sensing and actuation capabilities from state-of-the-art gas-sensitive mobile robots. To support our claim, we compare actuation and chemical sensing available to mobile robots to the corresponding capabilities of moths. We further characterize airflow and chemosensor measurements obtained with three different robot platforms (two wheeled robots and one flying micro-drone) in four prototypical environments and show that the assumption of a constant and unidirectional airflow, which is the basis of many gas source localization approaches, is usually far from being valid. This analysis should help to identify how underlying principles, which govern the gas source tracking behavior of animals, can be usefully “translated” into gas source localization approaches that fully take into account the capabilities of mobile robots. We also describe the requirements for a reference application, monitoring of gas emissions at landfill sites with mobile robots, and discuss an engineered gas source localization approach based on statistics as an alternative to biologically inspired algorithms. PMID:22319493

  3. Mobile robots for localizing gas emission sources on landfill sites: is bio-inspiration the way to go?

    PubMed

    Hernandez Bennetts, Victor; Lilienthal, Achim J; Neumann, Patrick P; Trincavelli, Marco

    2011-01-01

    Roboticists often take inspiration from animals for designing sensors, actuators, or algorithms that control the behavior of robots. Bio-inspiration is motivated with the uncanny ability of animals to solve complex tasks like recognizing and manipulating objects, walking on uneven terrains, or navigating to the source of an odor plume. In particular the task of tracking an odor plume up to its source has nearly exclusively been addressed using biologically inspired algorithms and robots have been developed, for example, to mimic the behavior of moths, dung beetles, or lobsters. In this paper we argue that biomimetic approaches to gas source localization are of limited use, primarily because animals differ fundamentally in their sensing and actuation capabilities from state-of-the-art gas-sensitive mobile robots. To support our claim, we compare actuation and chemical sensing available to mobile robots to the corresponding capabilities of moths. We further characterize airflow and chemosensor measurements obtained with three different robot platforms (two wheeled robots and one flying micro-drone) in four prototypical environments and show that the assumption of a constant and unidirectional airflow, which is the basis of many gas source localization approaches, is usually far from being valid. This analysis should help to identify how underlying principles, which govern the gas source tracking behavior of animals, can be usefully "translated" into gas source localization approaches that fully take into account the capabilities of mobile robots. We also describe the requirements for a reference application, monitoring of gas emissions at landfill sites with mobile robots, and discuss an engineered gas source localization approach based on statistics as an alternative to biologically inspired algorithms. PMID:22319493

  4. A Bio-inspired Collision Avoidance Model Based on Spatial Information Derived from Motion Detectors Leads to Common Routes

    PubMed Central

    Bertrand, Olivier J. N.; Lindemann, Jens P.; Egelhaaf, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Avoiding collisions is one of the most basic needs of any mobile agent, both biological and technical, when searching around or aiming toward a goal. We propose a model of collision avoidance inspired by behavioral experiments on insects and by properties of optic flow on a spherical eye experienced during translation, and test the interaction of this model with goal-driven behavior. Insects, such as flies and bees, actively separate the rotational and translational optic flow components via behavior, i.e. by employing a saccadic strategy of flight and gaze control. Optic flow experienced during translation, i.e. during intersaccadic phases, contains information on the depth-structure of the environment, but this information is entangled with that on self-motion. Here, we propose a simple model to extract the depth structure from translational optic flow by using local properties of a spherical eye. On this basis, a motion direction of the agent is computed that ensures collision avoidance. Flying insects are thought to measure optic flow by correlation-type elementary motion detectors. Their responses depend, in addition to velocity, on the texture and contrast of objects and, thus, do not measure the velocity of objects veridically. Therefore, we initially used geometrically determined optic flow as input to a collision avoidance algorithm to show that depth information inferred from optic flow is sufficient to account for collision avoidance under closed-loop conditions. Then, the collision avoidance algorithm was tested with bio-inspired correlation-type elementary motion detectors in its input. Even then, the algorithm led successfully to collision avoidance and, in addition, replicated the characteristics of collision avoidance behavior of insects. Finally, the collision avoidance algorithm was combined with a goal direction and tested in cluttered environments. The simulated agent then showed goal-directed behavior reminiscent of components of the navigation

  5. Bio-inspired hybrid microelectrodes: a hybrid solution to improve long-term performance of chronic intracortical implants

    PubMed Central

    De Faveri, Sara; Maggiolini, Emma; Miele, Ermanno; De Angelis, Francesco; Cesca, Fabrizia; Benfenati, Fabio; Fadiga, Luciano

    2014-01-01

    The use of implants that allow chronic electrical stimulation and recording in the brain of human patients is currently limited by a series of events that cause the deterioration over time of both the electrode surface and the surrounding tissue. The main reason of failure is the tissue inflammatory reaction that eventually causes neuronal loss and glial encapsulation, resulting in a progressive increase of the electrode-electrolyte impedance. Here, we describe a new method to create bio-inspired electrodes to mimic the mechanical properties and biological composition of the host tissue. This combination has a great potential to increase the implant lifetime by reducing tissue reaction and improving electrical coupling. Our method implies coating the electrode with reprogrammed neural or glial cells encapsulated within a hydrogel layer. We chose fibrin as a hydrogel and primary hippocampal neurons or astrocytes from rat brain as cellular layer. We demonstrate that fibrin coating is highly biocompatible, forms uniform coatings of controllable thickness, does not alter the electrochemical properties of the microelectrode and allows good quality recordings. Moreover, it reduces the amount of host reactive astrocytes – over time – compared to a bare wire and is fully reabsorbed by the surrounding tissue within 7 days after implantation, avoiding the common problem of hydrogels swelling. Both astrocytes and neurons could be successfully grown onto the electrode surface within the fibrin hydrogel without altering the electrochemical properties of the microelectrode. This bio-hybrid device has therefore a good potential to improve the electrical integration at the neuron-electrode interface and support the long-term success of neural prostheses. PMID:24782757

  6. Real-time object tracking based on scale-invariant features employing bio-inspired hardware.

    PubMed

    Yasukawa, Shinsuke; Okuno, Hirotsugu; Ishii, Kazuo; Yagi, Tetsuya

    2016-09-01

    We developed a vision sensor system that performs a scale-invariant feature transform (SIFT) in real time. To apply the SIFT algorithm efficiently, we focus on a two-fold process performed by the visual system: whole-image parallel filtering and frequency-band parallel processing. The vision sensor system comprises an active pixel sensor, a metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS)-based resistive network, a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), and a digital computer. We employed the MOS-based resistive network for instantaneous spatial filtering and a configurable filter size. The FPGA is used to pipeline process the frequency-band signals. The proposed system was evaluated by tracking the feature points detected on an object in a video. PMID:27268260

  7. Bio-inspired sensorization of a biomechatronic robot hand for the grasp-and-lift task.

    PubMed

    Edin, B B; Ascari, L; Beccai, L; Roccella, S; Cabibihan, J-J; Carrozza, M C

    2008-04-15

    It has been concluded from numerous neurophysiological studies that humans rely on detecting discrete mechanical events that occur when grasping, lifting and replacing an object, i.e., during a prototypical manipulation task. Such events represent transitions between phases of the evolving manipulation task such as object contact, lift-off, etc., and appear to provide critical information required for the sequential control of the task as well as for corrections and parameterization of the task. We have sensorized a biomechatronic anthropomorphic hand with the goal to detect such mechanical transients. The developed sensors were designed to specifically provide the information about task-relevant discrete events rather than to mimic their biological counterparts. To accomplish this we have developed (1) a contact sensor that can be applied to the surface of the robotic fingers and that show a sensitivity to indentation and a spatial resolution comparable to that of the human glabrous skin, and (2) a sensitive low-noise three-axial force sensor that was embedded in the robotic fingertips and showed a frequency response covering the range observed in biological tactile sensors. We describe the design and fabrication of these sensors, their sensory properties and show representative recordings from the sensors during grasp-and-lift tasks. We show how the combined use of the two sensors is able to provide information about crucial mechanical events during such tasks. We discuss the importance of the sensorized hand as a test bed for low-level grasp controllers and for the development of functional sensory feedback from prosthetic devices. PMID:18394525

  8. BATMAV - A Bio-Inspired Micro-Aerial Vehicle for Flapping Flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunget, Gheorghe

    The main objective of the BATMAV project is the development of a biologically-inspired Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) with flexible and foldable wings for flapping flight. While flapping flight in MAV has been previously studied and a number of models were realized they usually had unfoldable wings actuated with DC motors and mechanical transmission to achieve flapping motion. This approach limits the system to a rather small number of degrees of freedom with little flexibility and introduces an additional disadvantage of a heavy flight platform. The BATMAV project aims at the development of a flight platform that features bat-inspired wings with smart materials-based flexible joints and artificial muscles, which has the potential to closely mimic the kinematics of the real mammalian flyer. The bat-like flight platform was selected after an extensive analysis of morphological and aerodynamic flight parameters of small birds, bats and large insects characterized by a superior maneuverability and wind gust rejection. Morphological and aerodynamic parameters were collected from existing literature and compared concluding that bat wing present a suitable platform that can be actuated efficiently using artificial muscles. Due to their wing camber variation, the bat species can operate effectively at a large range of speeds and exhibit a remarkably maneuverable and agile flight. Although numerous studies were recently investigated the flapping flight, flexible and foldable wings that reproduce the natural intricate and efficient flapping motion were not designed yet. A comprehensive analysis of flight styles in bats based on the data collected by Norberg (Norberg, 1976) and the engineering theory of robotic manipulators resulted in a 2 and 3-DOF models which managed to mimic the wingbeat cycle of the natural flyer. The flexible joints of the 2 and 2-DOF models were replicated using smart materials like superelastic Shape Memory Alloys (SMA). The results of these kinematic

  9. Macromodeling for analog design and robustness boosting in bio-inspired computing models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuadri, J.; Linan, G.; Roca, E.; Rodriguez-Vazquez, A.

    2005-06-01

    Setting specifications for the electronic implementation of biological neural-network-like vision systems on-chip is not straightforward, neither it is to simulate the resulting circuit. The structure of these systems leads to a netlist of more than 100.000 nodes for a small array of 100x150 pixels. Moreover, introducing an optical input in the low level simulation is nowadays not feasible with standard electrical simulation environments. Given that, to accomplish the task of integrating those systems in silicon to build compact, low power consuming, and reliable systems, a previous step in the standard analog electronic design flux should be introduced. Here a methodology to make the translation from the biological model to circuit-level specifications for electronic design is proposed. The purpose is to include non ideal effects as mismatching, noise, leakages, supply degradation, feedthrough, and temperature of operation in a high level description of the implementation, in order to accomplish behavioural simulations that require less computational effort and resources. A particular case study is presented, the analog electronic implementation of the locust"s Lobula Giant Movement Detector (LGMD), a neural structure that fires a collision alarm based on visual information. The final goal is a collision threat detection vision system on-chip for automotive applications.

  10. Understanding Vesicles and Bio-Inspired Systems with Dissipative Particle Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shillcock, Julian C.

    Biological organisms have always been a source of inspiration for the designers of artificial materials and machines. At the boundaries of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, this process of borrowing from Nature is becoming increasingly important for several reasons. Industrial sectors, such as pharmaceutical com- panies and the chemicals industry [1], are keen to understand and rationally modify the design of natural materials so as to minimise manufacturing costs and create new materials whose properties are better suited to their purpose. Biologists and biophysicists would like to understand how organisms perform crucial life functions, such as protecting themselves against infectious agents, so that they can mimic these functions in the fields of medical treatment and bioweapons detection. Novel treatments for genetic diseases require the con- trolled replacement of defective genes with healthy ones, and will only fulfill their promise if their delivery can be made routine and reliable. The construc- tion of artificial viruses [2] to deliver genetic material is a promising route, but understanding the interactions of their components, and optimising their structure, are challenging tasks.

  11. Bio-Inspired Polarized Skylight-Based Navigation Sensors: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Karman, Salmah B.; Diah, S. Zaleha M.; Gebeshuber, Ille C.

    2012-01-01

    Animal senses cover a broad range of signal types and signal bandwidths and have inspired various sensors and bioinstrumentation devices for biological and medical applications. Insects, such as desert ants and honeybees, for example, utilize polarized skylight pattern-based information in their navigation activities. They reliably return to their nests and hives from places many kilometers away. The insect navigation system involves the dorsal rim area in their compound eyes and the corresponding polarization sensitive neurons in the brain. The dorsal rim area is equipped with photoreceptors, which have orthogonally arranged small hair-like structures termed microvilli. These are the specialized sensors for the detection of polarized skylight patterns (e-vector orientation). Various research groups have been working on the development of novel navigation systems inspired by polarized skylight-based navigation in animals. Their major contributions are critically reviewed. One focus of current research activities is on imitating the integration path mechanism in desert ants. The potential for simple, high performance miniaturized bioinstrumentation that can assist people in navigation will be explored. PMID:23202158

  12. Bio-inspired polarized skylight-based navigation sensors: a review.

    PubMed

    Karman, Salmah B; Diah, S Zaleha M; Gebeshuber, Ille C

    2012-01-01

    Animal senses cover a broad range of signal types and signal bandwidths and have inspired various sensors and bioinstrumentation devices for biological and medical applications. Insects, such as desert ants and honeybees, for example, utilize polarized skylight pattern-based information in their navigation activities. They reliably return to their nests and hives from places many kilometers away. The insect navigation system involves the dorsal rim area in their compound eyes and the corresponding polarization sensitive neurons in the brain. The dorsal rim area is equipped with photoreceptors, which have orthogonally arranged small hair-like structures termed microvilli. These are the specialized sensors for the detection of polarized skylight patterns (e-vector orientation). Various research groups have been working on the development of novel navigation systems inspired by polarized skylight-based navigation in animals. Their major contributions are critically reviewed. One focus of current research activities is on imitating the integration path mechanism in desert ants. The potential for simple, high performance miniaturized bioinstrumentation that can assist people in navigation will be explored. PMID:23202158

  13. Bio-inspired multi-mode optic flow sensors for micro air vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Seokjun; Choi, Jaehyuk; Cho, Jihyun; Yoon, Euisik

    2013-06-01

    Monitoring wide-field surrounding information is essential for vision-based autonomous navigation in micro-air-vehicles (MAV). Our image-cube (iCube) module, which consists of multiple sensors that are facing different angles in 3-D space, can be applied to the wide-field of view optic flows estimation (μ-Compound eyes) and to attitude control (μ- Ocelli) in the Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) platforms. In this paper, we report an analog/digital (A/D) mixed-mode optic-flow sensor, which generates both optic flows and normal images in different modes for μ- Compound eyes and μ-Ocelli applications. The sensor employs a time-stamp based optic flow algorithm which is modified from the conventional EMD (Elementary Motion Detector) algorithm to give an optimum partitioning of hardware blocks in analog and digital domains as well as adequate allocation of pixel-level, column-parallel, and chip-level signal processing. Temporal filtering, which may require huge hardware resources if implemented in digital domain, is remained in a pixel-level analog processing unit. The rest of the blocks, including feature detection and timestamp latching, are implemented using digital circuits in a column-parallel processing unit. Finally, time-stamp information is decoded into velocity from look-up tables, multiplications, and simple subtraction circuits in a chip-level processing unit, thus significantly reducing core digital processing power consumption. In the normal image mode, the sensor generates 8-b digital images using single slope ADCs in the column unit. In the optic flow mode, the sensor estimates 8-b 1-D optic flows from the integrated mixed-mode algorithm core and 2-D optic flows with an external timestamp processing, respectively.

  14. A Mechanism for Error Detection in Speeded Response Time Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holroyd, Clay B.; Yeung, Nick; Coles, Michael G. H.; Cohen, Jonathan D.

    2005-01-01

    The concept of error detection plays a central role in theories of executive control. In this article, the authors present a mechanism that can rapidly detect errors in speeded response time tasks. This error monitor assigns values to the output of cognitive processes involved in stimulus categorization and response generation and detects errors…

  15. Effects of different crosslinking conditions on the chemical-physical properties of a novel bio-inspired composite scaffold stabilised with 1,4-butanediol diglycidyl ether (BDDGE).

    PubMed

    Nicoletti, A; Fiorini, M; Paolillo, J; Dolcini, L; Sandri, M; Pressato, D

    2013-01-01

    Serious cartilage lesions (Outerbridge III, IV) may be successfully treated with a three-layered gradient scaffold made by magnesium-doped hydroxyapatite and type I collagen, manufactured through a bio-inspired process and stabilised by a reactive bis-epoxy (1,4-butanediol diglycidyl ether, BDDGE). Each layer was analysed to elucidate the effects of crosslinking variables (concentration, temperature and pH). The chemical stabilisation led to an homogeneous and aligned collagenous matrix: the fibrous structures switched to a laminar foils-based arrangement and organic phases acquired an highly coordinated 3D-organization. These morphological features were strongly evident when crosslinking occurred in alkaline solution, with BDDGE concentration of at least 1 wt%. The optimised crosslinking conditions did not affect the apatite nano-crystals nucleated into self-assembling collagen fibres. The present work allowed to demonstrate that acting on BDDGE reaction parameters might be an useful tool to control the chemical-physical properties of bio-inspired scaffold suitable to heal wide osteochondral defects, even through arthroscopic procedure. PMID:23053811

  16. Star-shaped polymers of bio-inspired algae core and poly(acrylamide) and poly(acrylic acid) as arms in dissolution of silica/silicate.

    PubMed

    Chauhan, Kalpana; Patiyal, Priyanka; Chauhan, Ghanshyam S; Sharma, Praveen

    2014-06-01

    Silica, in natural waters (due to weathering of rocks) decreases system performance in water processing industry due to scaling. In view of that, the present work involves the synthesis of novel green star shaped additives of algae core (a bio-inspired material as diatom maintains silicic acid equilibrium in sea water) as silica polymerization inhibitors. Star shaped materials with bio-inspired core and poly(acrylamide) [poly(AAm)] and poly(acrylic acid) [poly(AAc)] arms were synthesized by economical green approach. The proficiency was evaluated in 'mini lab' scale for the synthesized APAAm (Algae-g-poly(AAm)) and APAAc (Algae-g-poly(AAc)) dendrimers (star shaped) in colloidal silica mitigation/inhibition at 35 °C and 55 °C. Synthesized dendrimers were equally proficient in silica inhibition at 12 h and maintains ≥450 ppm soluble silica. However, APAAm dendrimers of generation 0 confirmed better results (≈300 ppm) in contrast to APAAc dendrimers in silica inhibition at 55 °C. Additionally, dendrimers also worked as a nucleator for heterogeneous polymerization to inhibit silica homo-polymerization. APAAm dendrimer test set showed no silica deposit for more than 10 days of inhibition. EDX characterization results support nucleator mechanism with Si content of 6.97%-10.98% by weight in silica deposits (SiO2-APAAm dendrimer composites). PMID:24681378

  17. Design of a biomass-to-biorefinery logistics system through bio-inspired metaheuristic optimization considering multiple types of feedstocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trueba, Isidoro

    fossil fuels to biofuels. In many ways biomass is a unique renewable resource. It can be stored and transported relatively easily in contrast to renewable options such as wind and solar, which create intermittent electrical power that requires immediate consumption and a connection to the grid. This thesis presents two different models for the design optimization of a biomass-to-biorefinery logistics system through bio-inspired metaheuristic optimization considering multiple types of feedstocks. This work compares the performance and solutions obtained by two types of metaheuristic approaches; genetic algorithm and ant colony optimization. Compared to rigorous mathematical optimization methods or iterative algorithms, metaheuristics do not guarantee that a global optimal solution can be found on some class of problems. Problems with similar characteristics to the one presented in this thesis have been previously solved using linear programming, integer programming and mixed integer programming methods. However, depending on the type of problem, these mathematical or complete methods might need exponential computation time in the worst-case. This often leads to computation times too high for practical purposes. Therefore, this thesis develops two types of metaheuristic approaches for the design optimization of a biomass-to-biorefinery logistics system considering multiple types of feedstocks and shows that metaheuristics are highly suitable to solve hard combinatorial optimization problems such as the one addressed in this research work.

  18. Recent advances in high speed detection systems for ammunition plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klapmeier, K. M.

    1984-08-01

    The application of UV detection systems in radioactive environments and the application considerations of infrared, and combinations of ultraviolet and infrared are discussed. Recent developments in high speed single frequency infrared detection systems and their applications to munitions processes are also reviewed.

  19. Multimode nondestructive detecting method for high-speed rail defects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Mingjian; Cheng, Xingzhen; Wan, Guangnan; Liu, Ting; Fu, Ying; Wang, Yan

    2015-11-01

    It is very important to detect the surface defects of the high-speed rail for security concerns. A multimode detecting method, which integrates high resolution of optical image, high precision of photoacoustic detection and strong penetration of ultrasound detecting, is proposed for the rail defect detection. Utilizing the surface defect characteristics obtained from optical signal, the photoacoustic and ultrasound scanning region could be determined, and rail shallow and internal defect characteristics can be acquired subsequently. Eventually, fusing three modal signals mentioned above, the information of the entire rail defect, including type, extension trend and depth can be detected. It has been proved that the multimode method can improve the detecting efficiency, and enlarge the detection range in the meantime.

  20. Bio-inspired anti-oil-fouling chitosan-coated mesh for oil/water separation suitable for broad pH range and hyper-saline environments.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shiyan; Lu, Fei; Tao, Lei; Liu, Na; Gao, Changrui; Feng, Lin; Wei, Yen

    2013-11-27

    Here, we report a bio-inspired chitosan (CS)-based mesh with high separation efficiency, oil-fouling repellency, and stability in a complex liquid environment. The surface of the CS coating maintains underwater superoleophobicity and low oil adhesion (<1 μN) in pure water and hyper-saline solutions, and it can keep stable special wettability in broad pH range environments after the CS mesh is fully cross-linked with glutaraldehyde and then reduced by sodium borohydride to form a stable carbon-nitrogen single bond. The separation process is solely gravity-driven, and the mesh can separate a range of different oil/water mixtures with >99% separation efficiency in hyper-saline and broad pH range conditions. We envision that such a separation method will be useful in oil spill cleanup and industrial oily wastewater treatment in extreme environments. PMID:24180691

  1. Direct comparison of the performance of a bio-inspired synthetic nickel catalyst and a [NiFe]-hydrogenase, both covalently attached to electrodes.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Maciá, Patricia; Dutta, Arnab; Lubitz, Wolfgang; Shaw, Wendy J; Rüdiger, Olaf

    2015-10-12

    The active site of hydrogenases has been a source of inspiration for the development of molecular catalysts. However, direct comparisons between molecular catalysts and enzymes have not been possible because different techniques are used to evaluate both types of catalysts, minimizing our ability to determine how far we have come in mimicking the enzymatic performance. The catalytic properties of the [Ni(P(Cy) 2 N(Gly) 2 )2 ](2+) complex with the [NiFe]-hydrogenase from Desulfovibrio vulgaris immobilized on a functionalized electrode were compared under identical conditions. At pH 7, the enzyme shows higher activity and lower overpotential with better stability, while at low pH, the molecular catalyst outperforms the enzyme in all respects. This is the first direct comparison of enzymes and molecular complexes, enabling a unique understanding of the benefits and detriments of both systems, and advancing our understanding of the utilization of these bio-inspired complexes in fuel cells. PMID:26140506

  2. Bio-inspired approach of the fluorescence emission properties in the scarabaeid beetle Hoplia coerulea (Coleoptera): Modeling by transfer-matrix optical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Hooijdonk, Eloise; Berthier, Serge; Vigneron, Jean-Pol

    2012-12-01

    Scales of the scarabaeid beetle Hoplia coerulea (Coleoptera) contain fluorescent molecules embedded in a multilayer structure. The consequence of this source confinement is a modification of the fluorescence properties, i.e., an enhancement or inhibition of the emission of certain wavelengths. In this work, we propose a bio-inspired approach to this problem. In other words, we use numerical simulations based on the one-dimensional transfer-matrix formalism to investigate the influence of a Hoplia-like system on emission characteristics and, from the results, we deduce potential technical applications. We reveal that depending on the choice of some parameters (layer thickness, dielectric constant, and position of the emitting source in the structure), it is possible to enhance or inhibit the fluorescence emission for certain wavelengths. This observation could be of great interest to design new optical devices in the field of optoelectronic, solar cells, biosensors, etc.

  3. Photochemical Hydrogen Generation Initiated by Oxidative Quenching of the Excited Ru(bpy)3 (2+) * by a Bio-Inspired [2Fe2S] Complex.

    PubMed

    Na, Yong; Wei, Peicheng; Zhou, Li

    2016-07-18

    A diiron dithiolate complex 1 containing 1,8-naphthalic anhydride bridge was prepared, which possessed the lowest reduction potential for the synthetic diiron complexes modeled on the active site of [FeFe] hydrogenase reported so far. For the first time, oxidative quenching of the excited Ru(bpy)3 (2+) * through electron transfer to a bio-inspired [2Fe2S] complex was corroborated. Hydrogen evolution, driven by visible light, was successfully observed for a three-component system, consisting of Ru(bpy)3 (2+) , complex 1, and EDTA as electron donor in aqueous/organic media. These results provide a basis and also opportunity to develop a photo water splitting system employing Fe-based catalysts without sacrificial electron donors. PMID:26879325

  4. Polyamine-Mediated Interfacial Assembly of rGO-ZnO Nanostructures: A Bio-inspired Approach and Enhanced Photocatalytic Properties.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Thuniki Naveen; Manna, Joydeb; Rana, Rohit K

    2015-09-01

    A bio-inspired approach for the fabrication of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) embedded ZnO nanostructure has been attempted to address issues pertaining to charge recombination and photocorrosion in ZnO for application as an effective photocatalyst. Herein we demonstrate the synthesis of rGO-ZnO nanostructures in a single step using polyamines, which simultaneously aid in the mineralization of ZnO nanostructures from zinc nitrate, reduction of graphene oxide (GO), and finally their assembly to form rGO-ZnO composite structures under environmentally benign conditions. The interspersed nanocomponents in the assembled heterostructures result in enhanced photocatalytic activity under UV light, indicating an effective charge separation of the excited electrons. Furthermore, the composite structure provides stability against photocorrosion for efficient recyclability of the catalyst. PMID:26317286

  5. Biomechanical model of batoid (skates and rays) pectoral fins predicts the influence of skeletal structure on fin kinematics: implications for bio-inspired design.

    PubMed

    Russo, R S; Blemker, S S; Fish, F E; Bart-Smith, H

    2015-08-01

    Growing interest in the development of bio-inspired autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) has motivated research in understanding the mechanisms behind the propulsion systems of marine animals. For example, the locomotive behavior of rays (Batoidea) by movement of the pectoral fins is of particular interest due to their superior performance characteristics over contemporary AUV propulsion systems. To better understand the mechanics of pectoral fin propulsion, this paper introduces a biomechanical model that simulates how batoid skeletal structures function to achieve the swimming locomotion observed in nature. Two rays were studied, Dasyatis sabina (Atlantic ray), and Rhinoptera bonasus (cownose ray). These species were selected because they exhibit very different swimming styles (undulation versus oscillation), but all use primarily their pectoral fins for propulsion (unlike electric rays or guitarfishes). Computerized tomography scans of each species were taken to image the underlying structure, which reveal a complex system of cartilaginous joints and linkages. Data collected from these images were used to quantify the complete skeletal morphometry of each batoid fin. Morphological differences were identified in the internal cartilage arrangement between each species including variations in the orientation of the skeletal elements, or radials, and the joint patterns between them, called the inter-radial joint pattern. These data were used as the primary input into the biomechanical model to couple a given ray skeletal structure with various swimming motions. A key output of the model is an estimation of the uniaxial strain that develops in the skeletal connective tissue in order for the structure to achieve motions observed during swimming. Tensile load tests of this connective tissue were conducted to further investigate the implications of the material strain predictions. The model also demonstrates that changes in the skeletal architecture (e.g., joint

  6. SPEED: the segmented pupil experiment for exoplanet detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, P.; Preis, Olivier; Gouvret, C.; Dejonghe, J.; Daban, J.-B.; Spang, A.; Martinache, F.; Beaulieu, M.; Janin-Potiron, P.; Abe, L.; Fantei-Caujolle, Y.; Mattei, D.; Ottogalli, S.

    2014-07-01

    Searching for nearby exoplanets with direct imaging is one of the major scientific drivers for both space and groundbased programs. While the second generation of dedicated high-contrast instruments on 8-m class telescopes is about to greatly expand the sample of directly imaged planets, exploring the planetary parameter space to hitherto-unseen regions ideally down to Terrestrial planets is a major technological challenge for the forthcoming decades. This requires increasing spatial resolution and significantly improving high contrast imaging capabilities at close angular separations. Segmented telescopes offer a practical path toward dramatically enlarging telescope diameter from the ground (ELTs), or achieving optimal diameter in space. However, translating current technological advances in the domain of highcontrast imaging for monolithic apertures to the case of segmented apertures is far from trivial. SPEED - the segmented pupil experiment for exoplanet detection - is a new instrumental facility in development at the Lagrange laboratory for enabling strategies and technologies for high-contrast instrumentation with segmented telescopes. SPEED combines wavefront control including precision segment phasing architectures, wavefront shaping using two sequential high order deformable mirrors for both phase and amplitude control, and advanced coronagraphy struggled to very close angular separations (PIAACMC). SPEED represents significant investments and technology developments towards the ELT area and future spatial missions, and will offer an ideal cocoon to pave the road of technological progress in both phasing and high-contrast domains with complex/irregular apertures. In this paper, we describe the overall design and philosophy of the SPEED bench.

  7. Characterization of anthocyanin based dye-sensitized organic solar cells (DSSC) and modifications based on bio-inspired ion mobility improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mawyin, Jose Amador

    The worldwide electrical energy consumption will increase from currently 10 terawatts to 30 terawatts by 2050. To decrease the current atmospheric CO2 would require our civilization to develop a 20 terawatts non-greenhouse emitting (renewable) electrical power generation capability. Solar photovoltaic electric power generation is thought to be a major component of proposed renewable energy-based economy. One approach to less costly, easily manufactured solar cells is the Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) introduced by Greatzel and others. This dissertation describes the work focused on improving the performance of DSSC type solar cells. In particular parameters affecting dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) based on anthocyanin pigments extracted from California blackberries (Rubus ursinus) and bio-inspired modifications were analyzed and solar cell designs optimized. Using off-the-shelf materials DSSC were constructed and tested using a custom made solar spectrum simulator and photoelectric property characterization. This equipment facilitated the taking of automated I-V curve plots and the experimental determination of parameters such as open circuit voltage (V OC), short circuit current (JSC), fill factor (FF), etc. This equipment was used to probe the effect of various modifications such as changes in the annealing time and composition of the of the electrode counter-electrode. Solar cell optimization schemes included novel schemes such as solar spectrum manipulation to increase the percentage of the solar spectrum capable of generating power in the DSSC. Solar manipulation included light scattering and photon upconversion. Techniques examined here focused on affordable materials such as silica nanoparticles embedded inside a TiO2 matrix. Such materials were examined for controlled scattering of visible light and optimize light trapping within the matrix as well as a means to achieve photon up-energy-conversion using the Raman effect in silica nano-particles (due

  8. Cu-doped carbon nitride: Bio-inspired synthesis of H2-evolving electrocatalysts using graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) as a host material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Xiaoxin; Silva, Rafael; Goswami, Anandarup; Asefa, Tewodros

    2015-12-01

    Splitting water effectively to produce hydrogen (H2) requires the development of non-noble-metal electrocatalysts that are able to make this reaction feasible and energy efficient. Herein, we present a novel "structure upgrading" synthetic approach for the design and synthesis of bio-inspired hydrogen-evolving electrocatalysts based on earth-abundant elements. Using g-C3N4 - an inexpensive inorganic polymer material - as a host material for copper ions, novel Cu-doped g-C3N4 materials with supramolecular structure, efficient electrocatalytic activity and modest overpotentials for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) are synthesized. Compared with most single-molecule analogs of hydrogenases that work only in organic media, the supramolecular Cu-doped g-C3N4 materials can serve as heterogeneous electrocatalysts with greater stability and good catalytic activity for HER in aqueous media. The materials afford a current density as high as 10 mA cm-2 at an overpotential as low as 390 mV, and work well in acidic media for, at least, 43 h.

  9. Highly robust hydrogen generation by bio-inspired Ir complexes for dehydrogenation of formic acid in water: Experimental and theoretical mechanistic investigations at different pH

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Wan -Hui; Fujita, Etsuko; Ertem, Mehmed Z.; Xu, Shaoan; Onishi, Naoya; Manaka, Yuichi; Suna, Yuki; Kambayashi, Hide; Muckerman, James T.; Himeda, Yuichiro

    2015-07-30

    Hydrogen generation from formic acid (FA), one of the most promising hydrogen storage materials, has attracted much attention due to the demand for the development of renewable energy carriers. Catalytic dehydrogenation of FA in an efficient and green manner remains challenging. Here, we report a series of bio-inspired Ir complexes for highly robust and selective hydrogen production from FA in aqueous solutions without organic solvents or additives. One of these complexes bearing an imidazoline moiety (complex 6) achieved a turnover frequency (TOF) of 322,000 h⁻¹ at 100 °C, which is higher than ever reported. The novel catalysts are very stable and applicable in highly concentrated FA. For instance, complex 3 (1 μmol) affords an unprecedented turnover number (TON) of 2,050,000 at 60 °C. Deuterium kinetic isotope effect experiments and density functional theory (DFT) calculations employing a “speciation” approach demonstrated a change in the rate-determining step with increasing solution pH. This study provides not only more insight into the mechanism of dehydrogenation of FA but also offers a new principle for the design of effective homogeneous organometallic catalysts for H₂ generation from FA.

  10. Highly robust hydrogen generation by bio-inspired Ir complexes for dehydrogenation of formic acid in water: Experimental and theoretical mechanistic investigations at different pH

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Wang, Wan -Hui; Fujita, Etsuko; Ertem, Mehmed Z.; Xu, Shaoan; Onishi, Naoya; Manaka, Yuichi; Suna, Yuki; Kambayashi, Hide; Muckerman, James T.; Himeda, Yuichiro

    2015-07-30

    Hydrogen generation from formic acid (FA), one of the most promising hydrogen storage materials, has attracted much attention due to the demand for the development of renewable energy carriers. Catalytic dehydrogenation of FA in an efficient and green manner remains challenging. Here, we report a series of bio-inspired Ir complexes for highly robust and selective hydrogen production from FA in aqueous solutions without organic solvents or additives. One of these complexes bearing an imidazoline moiety (complex 6) achieved a turnover frequency (TOF) of 322,000 h⁻¹ at 100 °C, which is higher than ever reported. The novel catalysts are very stablemore » and applicable in highly concentrated FA. For instance, complex 3 (1 μmol) affords an unprecedented turnover number (TON) of 2,050,000 at 60 °C. Deuterium kinetic isotope effect experiments and density functional theory (DFT) calculations employing a “speciation” approach demonstrated a change in the rate-determining step with increasing solution pH. This study provides not only more insight into the mechanism of dehydrogenation of FA but also offers a new principle for the design of effective homogeneous organometallic catalysts for H₂ generation from FA.« less