Marine-Inspired Water-Structured Biomaterials
Book chapter, 2010

Biomimetics can provide new insights for the design of the next generation of biomaterials based on hierarchical structures. In an inspirational project for research on structured materials with tailored mass transport properties, we have used the jellyfi sh as a model system because of its remarkable water - holding capacity. The microstructure of the jellyfi sh, Aurelia aurita , has been characterized by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The characterization was focused on the mesoglea in order to understand the water management of jellyfi sh and related rheological properties. The results revealed a structure spanning a wide range of length scales. The mesoglea consists of long fi bers and a network spanning the space between them. It is a relatively coarse and open network consisting of proteins, as well as polysaccharides, which suggests a complex supermolecular proteoglucan structure. Jellyfi sh are sensitive to variations in salt content, and change in volume, shrinking with increasing salt content. The hierarchical structural levels are necessary for jellyfi sh to maintain their overall structure in water with varying salt contents. The coarse fi bers stabilize the jellyfi sh structure, and the network structure between the fi bers is most likely responsible for water management. By understanding the hierarchy and structures at different length scales, we can gain important information for the development of a new generation of hierarchically structured biomaterials with tailor - made mass transport, water management, and molecular mobilities.

Superabsorbents (SAPs) - absorbing pure water

Superabsorbents - components in modern hygiene products

Biomimetics - new insights for biomaterials designing

Mass transport - length scale dependent

Biomimetics - inspiring creating new functions

Superabsorbent - cross-linked polyacrylic acid


Anne-Marie Hermansson

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Applied Surface Chemistry

P. Olofsson

SIK – the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology

S. Ekstedt

SIK – the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology

Maria Pihl

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Applied Surface Chemistry

Paul Gatenholm

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Polymer Technology

Water Properties in Food, Health, Pharmaceutical and Biological Systems: ISOPOW 10

9780813812731 (ISBN)

Subject Categories

Chemical Sciences





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