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Inspired by Biology: From Molecules to Materials to Machines
the active site and a site into which another molecule fits. The binding of a molecule changes the shape of the enzyme and alters its activity.
amphiphile: Molecule possessing both hydrophilic (water soluble) and hydrophobic (water repellent) regions.
amyloid: Insoluble fibrous protein aggregations sharing specific structural traits.
angiogenesis: Physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from preexisting vessels.
antigen: Molecule that stimulates an immune response.
bioderivation: Using a biomaterial with desired properties to create a hybrid material, such as incorporation of biologically derived proteins for targeted drug delivery.
bioinspiration: Observing a particular function performed with precision by a biological system, and then attempting to create a synthetic system that performs the same function for technological applications. The strategy devised to achieve this goal can be quite different from that employed by the biological system.
biomimicry: Learning the mechanistic principle used by living systems to achieve a particular function and then attempting to copy the same strategy to achieve biomimetic function.
biomineralization: Process by which living organisms produce minerals, often to harden or stiffen existing tissues. Examples include calcium carbonates in seashells and bone in mammals and birds.
Boolean logic: Algebraic system of logic developed by George Boole in the mid-19th century. It is the algebra of two values—usually 0 and 1—and three operations—AND, OR, and NOT.
Brownian motion: Random movement of particles suspended in a fluid or the mathematical model used to describe such random movements.
cell signaling: Part of a complex system of communication that governs basic cellular activities and coordinates cell actions.