Biomimetic research in the botanic garden of the University of Freiburg

Published on December 10, 2014

The main research topic related to biomimetics of the Plant Biomechanics Group and the Botanic Garden of the University of Freiburg are presented.


These topics comprise (1) branched and unbranched fiber-reinforced structures, (2) highly damping and energy-dissipating materials and structures, (3) attachment and anti-attachment structures and surfaces, (4) smart materials – especially self-repairing materials, (5) deployable and movable structures, and (6) application of biomimetic materials, structures and other bio-inspired technical solutions in architecture. In the greenhouse of the Botanic Garden some of the research projects studied in the Plant Biomechanics Group Freiburg are shortly presented.

The aspects related to basic research of the various research projects of the Plant Biomechanics Group Freiburg are currently funded by the German Research Foundation DFG within the Priority Program “SPP 1420: Biomimetic Material Research: Functionality by Hierarchical Structuring of Materials” and within the “Collaborative Research Center – Transregio 141: Biological Design and Integrative Structures – Analysis, Simulation and Implementation in Architecture”. Additional projects were and are funded by the Baden-Württemberg-Stiftung within the funding directives “Neue Materialien aus der Bionik” and “Bioinspirierte Materialsynthese”.
The various R&D projects of the Plant Biomechanics Group Freiburg were and are funded within different funding directives of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, as e.g. “MatRessource”, “NanoMatTextil”, “BIONA” and “Ideenwettbewerb I & II: Bionik – Innovationen aus der Natur“; as well as within programs of the European Communion, as e.g. “EU-FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN – Marie Curie Initial Training Networks” and “InterReg III”; and in the “Joint Research Network on Advanced Materials and Systems (BASF-JONAS)”.
Significant funding for research projects in biomimetics comes from the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg within the funding directives „Molekulare Bionik“ and “Zukunftsoffensive IV – Struktur und Innovationsfonds Baden-Württemberg”, and for the “Network of Competence Biomimetics Baden-Württemberg”.
Additional funding comes and came during the last years also from the Deutschen Bundesstiftung Umwelt within the „Stipendienschwerpunkt Bionik“ , from the Virtual Helmholtz Institute “PlanktonTech” and the “Innovationsfond of the University of Freiburg”, as well as last but not least from various industrial companies.

Cooperation Partners

Network of Competence Biomimetics Baden-Württemberg, Bionics Competence Network Biokon e.V with Biokon International – The Biomimetics Association, Freiburg Centre for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies (FIT) and Freiburg Materials Research Center (FMF), as well as RWTH Aachen, Univ. Bayreuth, TU Berlin, HS Bremen, Univ. Bristol, Univ. Delft, ITV Denkendorf, TU Dresden, ILK Dresden, EMPA Dübendorf, Univ. Ghent, KIT, ETH Lausanne, AMAP Montpellier, TU München, Univ. Oxford, MPI Potsdam/Golm, Univ. Stuttgart & SMSN, Univ. Tübingen, ETH Zürich.

Speck Group | University of Freiburg, Germany

Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck holds the chair for “Botany: Functional Morphology and Biomimetics” at the University of Freiburg. He is head of the Plant Biomechanics Group Freiburg, director of the Botanic Garden Freiburg and member of the board of directors of the Freiburg Centre for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies (FIT). His main research interests include biomimetics (esp. bio-inspired materials and surfaces as well as biomimetic applications to architecture); biomechanics and functional morphology of plants (incl. plant movements and plant animal interactions); evolution of plant growth forms and early land plants; and eco-biomechanics of plants in tropical rainforests.


The original research article is published in the Open Access Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry and is part of the Thematic Series Chemistry in flow systems II.

Bou-Hamdan, F. R.; Lévesque, F.; O’Brien, A. G.; Seeberger, P. H., Continuous flow photolysis of aryl azides: Preparation of 3H-azepinones, Beilstein J. Org. Chem. 2011, 7, 1124–1129. doi:10.3762/bjoc.7.129

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