Is the study of the structure and function of biological systems as models for the design and engineering of materials and machines. It is widely regarded as being synonymous withbiomimicry, biomimesis, biognosis and similar to biologically inspired design. Biomimetic refers to human-made processes, substances, devices, or systems that imitate nature. The art and science of designing and building biomimetic apparatus is called biomimetics, and is of special interest to researchers in nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), the medical industry, and the military.

Some biomimetic processes have been in use for years. An example is the artificial synthesis of certain vitamins and antibiotics. More recently, biomimetics have been suggested as applicable in the design of machine vision systems, machine hearing systems, signal amplifiers, navigational systems, and data converters. The neural network (which has suffered through on-again, off-again status in the opinions of prominent researchers) is a hypothetical biomimetic computer that works by making associations and educated guesses, and that can learn from its own mistakes.

Other possible applications of biomimetics include nanorobot antibodies that seek and destroy disease-causing bacteria, artificial organs, artificial arms, legs, hands, and feet, and various electronic devices. One of the more intriguing ideas is the so-called biochip, a microprocessor that grows from a starter crystal in much the same way that a seed grows into a tree, or a fertilized egg grows into an embryo.

Peptides are short polymers of amino acid monomers linked by peptide bonds. They are distinguished from proteins on the basis of size, typically containing fewer than 50 monomer units. The shortest peptides are dipeptides, consisting of two amino acids joined by a single peptide bond. There are also tripeptides,tetrapeptides, etc.

Amino acids which have been incorporated into a peptide are termed “residues”; every peptide has a N-terminus and C-terminus residue on the ends of the peptide (except for cyclic peptides). A polypeptide is a long, continuous, and unbranched peptide. Proteins consist of one or more polypeptides arranged in a biologically functional way and are often bound tocofactors, or other proteins. The size boundaries which distinguish peptides, polypeptides, and proteins are arbitrary. Long peptides such as amyloid beta can be considered proteins, whereas small proteins such as insulin can be considered peptides.

Is a branch of nanotechnology in which objects, devices, and systems form structures without external prodding. Nanotechnology is a field of engineering that deals with design, manufacture, and control.

In self-assembly, the individual components contain in themselves enough information to build a template for a structure composed of multiple units. An example is the construction of a monolayer, in which a single layer of closely-packed molecules sticks to a surface in an orderly and closely-packed fashion. Self-assembly should not be confused with positional assembly, a technique that has been suggested as a means to build objects, devices, and systems on a molecular scale using automated processes in which the components that carry out the construction process would follow programmed paths.

Nanotechnology has potential benefits for many fields, including water purification, sanitation, agriculture, alternative energy (particularly photovoltaics), home and business construction, computer manufacturing, communications, and medicine.


Is an analytical device for the detection of an analyte that combines a biological component with a physicochemical detector. The sensitive biological element (biological material (e.g. tissue, microorganisms, organelles, cell receptors, enzymes, antibodies, nucleic acids, etc.), a biologically derived material or biomimic component that interacts (binds or recognises) the analyte under study. The biologically sensitive elements can also be created by biological engineering.

The transducer or the detector element (works in a physicochemical way; optical, piezoelectric, electrochemical, etc.) that transforms the signal resulting from the interaction of the analyte with the biological element into another signal (i.e., transducers) that can be more easily measured and quantified; biosensor reader device with the associated electronics or signal processors that are primarily responsible for the display of the results in a user-friendly way. This sometimes accounts for the most expensive part of the sensor device, however it is possible to generate a user friendly display that includes transducer and sensitive element(see Holographic Sensor). The readers are usually custom-designed and manufactured to suit the different working principles of biosensors. Known manufacturers of biosensor electronic readers include PalmSens, Gwent Biotechnology Systems and Rapid Labs.


Is a recently coined term for a field of research that works to establish a synergy between electronics and biology. One of the main forums for information about the field is the Elsevier journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, published since 1990. The journal describes the scope of bioelectronics as follows:

The emerging field of Bioelectronics seeks to exploit biology in conjunction with electronics in a wider context encompassing, for example, biological fuel cells, bionics and biomaterials for information processing, information storage, electronic components and actuators. A key aspect is the interface between biological materials and micro- and nano-electronics.

Is a branch of electrochemistry concerned with topics like cell electron-proton transport, cell membrane potentials and electrode reactions of redox enzymes.

Sometimes called moletronics, involves the study and application of molecular building blocks for the fabrication of electronic components. This includes both bulk applications of conductive polymers as well as single-molecule electronic components for nanotechnology.

The interdisciplinary field of molecular electronics spans physics, chemistry, and materials science. The unifying feature is the use of molecular building blocks for the fabrication of electronic components. This includes both passive (e.g. resistive wires) and active components such as transistors and molecular-scale switches. Due to the prospect of size reduction in electronics offered by molecular-level control of properties, molecular electronics has generated much excitement both in science fiction and among scientists. Molecular electronics provides a potential means to extend Moore’s Law beyond the foreseen limits of small-scale conventional silicon integrated circuits.

Molecular electronics comprises two related but separate subdisciplines: molecular materials for electronics utilizes the properties of the molecules to affect the bulk properties of a material, while molecular scale electronics focuses on single-molecule applications.