Connect with us


Nature-Inspired Innovation: Can Biomimetics Help Us Achieve Sustainable Societies?

Scientists have long looked to animals and plants for inspiration. Could biomimetics provide solutions to environmental issues facing the planet?



Mimicking the undersides of a gecko’s toes: Abundant cilia generate a subtle force upon contact with microscopic irregularities on a wall, enabling geckos to effortlessly climb vertical surfaces. (Photo courtesy of Nitto Denko)

Read the full story on Japan 2 Earth - Nature-Inspired Innovation: Can Biomimetics Help Us Achieve Sustainable Societies?

The practice of analyzing the functions and mechanisms inherent in living organisms and applying them to manufacturing is known as “biomimetics” or “biomimicry.” Over various epochs, biomimicry has emerged as a source of innovations and technological breakthroughs. 

Amid the global climate change crisis and ongoing efforts to promote efficient material use and recycling, there's growing anticipation that biomimicry could play a crucial role in realizing a circular society and mitigating environmental impacts. Let's delve into the current landscape.

Achieving the Ideal

"In simple terms, biomimetics involves harnessing the optimal features of systems that have evolved over billions of years within natural cycles on the Earth," explains Kazuhiko Ishihara, Specially Appointed Professor at Osaka University's Graduate School of Engineering.


For three decades, Professor Ishihara has dedicated his research to developing the MPC polymer, a material that mimics the structure of the human cell membrane. This polymer boasts exceptional hydrophilic and water-retaining properties, coupled with the ability to prevent the adhesion of substances like proteins. In the summer of 2023, Alcon Japan introduced a contact lens using MPC polymer that mimics the human cornea.

Continue reading the full story on Japan 2 Earth to learn more about how biomimetics can contribute to solving global environmental issues.

And find more great articles on the environment and the challenges of achieving the SDGs on our new website Japan 2 Earth (J2E), sparking a transition to a sustainable future.


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: Takashi Otani


Our Partners