Learning and applying material-based sensing lessons from nature
McConney, Michael Edward
MetadataShow full item record
The work presented in this dissertation was aimed at understanding biology's application of soft materials to enhance sensing abilities and initiate innovative bio-inspired material-based approaches for flow (fluidic and air) sensors and photo-thermal sensors. A key aim is to help strengthen this niche of functional materials science referred to, here, as bio-inspired materials in sensing roles. The work aspires to traverse the boundaries of the subject in order to provide a strong foundation for future scientific explorations of the subject. The studies presented here, include studies of flow sensing in fish and implementing a bio-mimetic approach to microfabricated flow sensors. The work also includes studies of material based signal filtering in spiders, as well as, bio-inspired photo-thermal transduction mechanisms. The capabilities of the methodology are demonstrated with successful engineering studies.