Best Practices of Bioinspired Design: Key Themes and Challenges

Aimy Wissa, Marianne Alleyne, William C. Barley, Andrew V. Suarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bioinspired design (BID) is an interdisciplinary research field that can lead to innovations to solve technical problems. There have been many attempts to develop a framework to de-silo engineering and biology and implement processes to enable BID. In January of 2022, we organized a symposium at the 2022 Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting to bring together educators and practitioners of BID. The symposium aimed to (a) consolidate best practices in teaching bioinspiration, (b) create and sustain effective multidisciplinary teams, (c) summarize best approaches to conduct problem-based or solution-driven fundamental research, and (d) bring BID innovations to market. During the symposium, several themes emerged. Here we highlight three critical themes that need to be addressed for BID to become a truly interdisciplinary strategy that benefits all stakeholders and results in innovation. First, there is a need for a usable methodology that leads to proper abstraction of biological principles for engineering design. Second, the utilization of engineering models to test biological hypotheses is essential for the continued engagement of biologists in BID. Third, there is a necessity of proven team-science strategies that will lead to successful collaborations between engineers and biologists. Accompanying this introduction is a variety of perspectives and research articles highlighting best practices in BID research and product development and guides that can highlight the challenges and facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations in the field of BID.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1147-1152
Number of pages6
JournalIntegrative and Comparative Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Plant Science


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