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Nanobiodiversity: The Potential of Extracellular Nanostructures

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As an outcome of millions of years of evolution, biological systems have developed different methods to interact with their surroundings. Many of these adaptations, such as secretions, light-interacting surfaces, biochemical active compounds, and many other survival strategies, are phenomena occurring at the nanometric scale. In this review, we describe how extracellular nanometric structures are responsible for manipulating energy and matter, creating some of the emergent properties of life. Iridescent colors in birds' feathers, the manipulation of wettability of insects' exoskeletons, the adhesive properties of nanopatterned secretions and the ability to polarize light are examples of the potential of extracellular nanostructures. We defined the study of extracellular nanostructures as "nanobiodiversity," a unifying concept that emphasizes the inspiration that life at the nanoscale offers, not only for designing new materials, but also for its understanding.
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Keywords: BIODIVERSITY; BIOMIMETIC; EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY AND BIO-NANOTECHNOLOGY; EXTRACELLULAR STRUCTURES; NANOBIODIVERSITY; NANOPATTERNS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-07-01

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  • The Journal of Renewable Materials (JRM) publishes high quality peer reviewed original research on macromolecules and additives obtained from renewable/biobased resources. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, JRM introduces cutting-edge research on biobased monomers, polymers, additives (both organic and inorganic), their blends and composites. It showcases both fundamental aspects and new applications for renewable materials. The fundamental theories and topics pertain to chemistry of biobased monomers, macromoners and polymers, their structure-property relationship, processing using sustainable methods, characterization (spectroscopic, morphological, thermal, mechanical, and rheological), bio and environmental degradation, and life cycle analysis. Demonstration of use of renewable materials and composites in applications including adhesives, bio and environmentally degradable structures, biomedicine, construction, electrical & electronics, mechanical, mendable and self-healing systems, optics, packaging, recycling, shape-memory, and stimulus responsive systems will be presented.
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