Virtual: Day of the Research: Researchers steal from nature, 3 of 3

21-04-28 19:30 - 20:30

Forskningens Døgn logo
Credit: Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Every year Denmark has a proclaimed “Day of the Research” (which has now become a week, but never mind). With it researchers of all colours, far and wide, get the opportunity to tell about their research to the general population in a slew of different events, ranging from talks to debate panels, quizzes, interactive exercise and much more. The doors are thrown open – insofar as a digital, corona-proof event has doors – on the 23rd through 29th of April.

This year LINX has been created as one of the organizers to set up contributions. 3 talks (see furthest down), specifically, from within our area of X-rays and neutrons. The below is one of our talks.


“Researchers steal from nature”, Ph.D. scient. Martin Alm, BioModics ApS

Credit: Biomodics.

Researchers can learn a lot from plants and animals. They examine, and seek to imitate, the design of nature when developing everything from artificial blood vessels to green and safe batteries. That way to approach research is called biomimetics.

Biomimetic research has a broad span. The field is constantly expanding as other interdisciplinary science recognize that solutions they seek often already exist in nature. By way of example, shark skin has inspired new swimsuits.

Biomimetics is not a new phenomenon. The Stone Age people copied nature when they put on fur to keep warm. Leonardo Da Vinci imitated birds when he drew his famous sketches of aeroplanes 500 years ago. And Velcro was invented after a hike in the Alps when Swiss engineer George de Mestral noticed some small, green seeds from the burdock plant getting stuck in the dog’s fur and his trousers.

In Denmark too, we are steaming ahead when it comes to biomimetics. Ph.D. Martin Alm, BioModics ApS, will talk about how the company Biomodics works in the biomimetic field when developing future solutions in medical products such as artificial blood vessels, infection-free catheters and band-aids.

Some examples from Biomodics:

  • Mussels can easily stick to rocks and cliffs without being washed away by the waves of the sea. We try to mimic that glue when we need to make patches for wet wounds. These are microstructures with many small points of contact that will stick, but not so much that the skin is damaged when you tear off the patch.
  • Cells, especially the cell membrane, have ion transporters that allow nutrients to pass through. We imitated them when we developed a catheter that prevents urinary tract infections.
  • In biomimetic chemistry, we found that zwitterions are good at transporting lithium ions. That is why, as something new, we have started to develop lithium batteries. Zwitterions are chemical compounds that have both a positive and a negative electric charge at different sites on the molecule.


Event details

  • Check out the events webpage
  • Language: Danish
  • Location: Virtual
  • Days it’s possible to see this event:
    • April 24th 14-15
    • April 26th 14-15
    • April 28th 19.30-20.30


All 3 LINX talks at Forskningens Døgn:

  • The Nordic Region will be a mecca for world-leading research in new materials” by prof. Kim Lefmann, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
  • Discovering the world of organic solar cells with X-rays” by Ph.D. stud. Mariam Ahmad, SDU NanoSYD
  • Researchers steal from nature” by Ph.D. scient. Martin Alm, BioModics Aps

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