1932

Abstract

Living structures constantly interact with the biotic and abiotic environment by sensing and responding via specialized functional parts. In other words, biological bodies embody highly functional machines and actuators. What are the signatures of engineering mechanisms in biology? In this review, we connect the dots in the literature to seek engineering principles in plant structures. We identify three thematic motifs—bilayer actuator, slender-bodied functional surface, and self-similarity—and provide an overview of their structure–function relationships. Unlike human-engineered machines and actuators, biological counterparts may appear suboptimal in design, loosely complying with physical theories or engineering principles. We postulate what factors may influence the evolution of functional morphology and anatomy to dissect and comprehend better the why behind the biological forms.

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2023-05-22
2024-06-18
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