The DGM Expert Committee sees itself as an interface between the material and natural sciences, and therefore addresses both engineers and natural and life scientists in basic research. It pursues and coordinates the interdisciplinary exchange of the respective experts, whose focus areas range from the systematics of natural models to material-structure interactions to processes at static or dynamic interfaces. Molecular biological material formation processes, the neologization of materials, as well as the establishment and broad acceptance of bio-inspired materials are also part of the field of activity. In pursuit of its goals, the Expert Committee hosts the international conference "Bio-inspired-Materials" and participates in the establishment of major research programs and the preparation of strategic position papers.
The research and development of bioinspired materials is an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to materials science and engineering. It pursues the goal of identifying and understanding role models for technical applications in nature and, based on this, producing sustainable, intelligent, and future-oriented products. Bioinspiration applies to countless fields and areas. Well-known developments range from the Lotus-Effect® for dirt-repellent surfaces or self-repairing polymer membranes and Gecko-Tape® for adhesive-free reversible adhesion to the artificial spider silk fiber BioSteel®. The possibilities for innovation are immense - a realization that is also gaining ground in more and more industrial companies.
The requirements for the development of modern materials are increasingly moving toward combining multifunctional, adaptive, interactive, and stimuli-responsive material properties. For such high-performance materials, which integrate excellent primary material properties such as high strength or toughness with a complex requirement profile in terms of functionality, biological materials, and structures offer a reservoir of promising conceptual approaches. Biological materials are often superior to man-made materials since the latter usually perform only a few functions and rarely exhibit inherent adaptability. By transferring characteristic biological principles such as hierarchical structure, interaction with the environment, and material genesis supported by self-assembly and self-organization to technical manufacturing processes, innovative bio-inspired materials with new properties that cannot be generated via classical methods can be developed. This also includes modern manufacturing processes in medical technology and tissue regeneration such as biofabrication.