SENSORS AND SENSING. Organisms sense physical stimuli (e.g, fluid motion, sound pressure, etc) with structures or processing schemes that often are quite different from that employed in human-built systems, particularly because humans are so visually oriented. However, an organism's ability to gather information efficiently is often key to their survival, and organisms must perform these tasks under conditions of limited processing power or materials. Studying animal sensation therefore can yield novel sensors, or develop sensors that efficiently gather particular information for a certain task in a specific environment. The limits on neural processing machinery and sensory structures make animal strategies particularly useful for autonomous systems. Animals must also frequently communicate without exposing themselves to predators or other dangers, and provide insights in how to design private communication channels.

Project 1

Laminar trail tracer, based on asymmetric linear sensor of microcrustaceans
Jeannette Yen | School of Biology | Georgia Tech

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Better understanding of the chemosensory abilities of plankton: organisms that live at the interface of laminar and turbulent regimes.

potential impact
Advance our understanding of Aquatic ecosystem function, small-scale fluid physics, Chemical communication Better understanding of the chemosensory abilities of plankton 9 organisms that live at the interface of laminar and turbulent regimes.

current research and capabilities | relevant research projects : Tracking response to laminar trails using an aquatic microcrustacean with an asymmetric linear sensor Relevant research capabilities: Schilerenoptical pathway for 3D visualization of small-scale flow and aquatic plankton behavior

open research questions | research issues Role of viscosity and small-scale oceanic fluid flow

Project 2

Chemical plume tracker, based on crab guidance system
Ryan Cantor, Marc Weissburg, and Jiri Janata | School of Biology | School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Georgia Tech

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Project 3

Auditory Retina, based on the fish ear
Minami Yoda, Peter Rogers | School of Applied Physiology | Georgia Tech

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Project 4

Sustainability and Polymer Recycling | Cyclodextrin“dye inclusion complexes
Mohan Srinivasarao | School of Polymer, Textile and Fiber Engineering
School of Chemistry and Biochemistry | Georgia Tech

Topic Summary : Rotaxanes consist of macrocyclic rings trapped onto linear molecules by end capping the threading molecule with two bulky substituents. We synthesize and characterize rotaxanes based on cyclodextrins (cyclic sugars with 6, 7 or 8 glucose units) and are studying their optical and electro-optical properties with aim to make supramolecular devices based on them. The cyclodextrins have a hydrophobic interior and a hydrophilic exterior and thus improve the water solubility of several 'threading' molecules, say conjugated structures. In addition to improving water solubility which makes them candidates for say improving solubility of pharmaceutical compounds, these systems are ideal host-guest compounds forming model systems to receptor-substrate systems.. The architecture and specific molecular interactions provide ways of controlling luminescence, charge transport as well as chemical and mechanical stability in these molecular materials. We study the interactions and the photo-physical properties of our model compounds both o understand the underlying science and to provide material for making organic solar cells.

Project 5

bioMEMS/ Micro-fluidics
Hang Lu | School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering | Georgia Tech

Project 6

NeuroLab, Butera Group

Rob Butera | School in Electrical and Computer Engineering |

Georgia Tech

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Of particular interest are general studies of how single neuron properties contribute to the synchronization of neural circuits and the neural basis of respiration. We also have ongoing projects in electrophysiological instrumentation development and artificially replacing aspects of nervous system function in simple model organisms. Several of these projects involve the integration of in vitro experiments with real-time computational models. Other interests include nonlinear dynamical systems and oscillatory electronic circuits inspired by some of our neurobiological research.

image L: Circuit/Network Dynamics: Use nonlinear dynamical analysis to study the behavior exhibited by neural circuits/networks.
image R: Develop and use real-time computational hardware to study neuron and network computation.

biomimicry defined

The Gecko's Foot: Bio-inspiration

by Peter Forbes


Scientists throughout the world are developing and manufacturing 'wet' materials inspired by or copied from the biology of other organisms. Self-cleaning glass, glue as strong as a mussel's, large grabbers that imitate not a crude claw but an elephant's rolling trunk: all of these products owe their existence to the solutions evolution has already provided. And thanks to the recently discovered secret of the geckos foot - and just how it sticks to walls - we might one day soon be able to wear gloves and shoes that would make Spidermen of us all

human plus nature

Connection In Irish folklore, the salmon is regarded as the wisest of creatures because it knows how to find its way home. That, in a way, is our challenge. Can we find our way back to a future in which our best traditions, highest values and a sense of connection with place and posterity prevail?

David Orr

David Suzuki
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CBID is an interdisciplinary center for research and development of design solutions that occur in biological processes. Founded in 2005, It is one of more than 100 interdisciplinary research units funded at Georgia Institute of Technology