Bioinspired Materials Sciences at TU Freiberg: How Science can Learn from Nature

Process of biomineralization. Photo: Prof. Dr. Hermann Ehrlich
Learning from nature: The research area "Biomineralisation, Biomimetics and Bioinspired Material Sciences" at the TU Freiberg is dedicated to this topic. A publication by Prof. Dr. Hermann Ehrlich recently published by Springer-Verlag provides insights into current research.

In nature - especially in the sea - there are numerous organisms that have further specified their properties over millions of years and with their scaffolds and materials clearly exceed the construction and functional principles of artificially manufactured products. These phenomena can be transferred to modern materials science. To do this, however, the processes and structures of the naturally occurring organs must first be deciphered.

Prof. Dr. Ehrlich is dedicating himself to this task in the unique research field of "Extreme Biomimetics" at the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg. Prof. Ehrlich and his team are inspired by renewable, naturally occurring and non-toxic organic scaffolds of marine invertebrates such as marine sponges. He uses these sponges to investigate the unusual structural formations on a centimetre to metre scale. The findings can be applied to the composition and function of new, extremely pressure- and temperature-resistant biocomposite materials.

With international research teams, he has already deciphered the biochemical and biomineralogical relationships of diatoms, the structure of biological glass fibres of marine sponges as inspiration for the modern laser industry and the structure of a marine sponge skeleton for novel 3D composite materials.

Prof. Hermann Ehrlich also passes on his extensive knowledge to students at the TU Freiberg. In the subject "Marine Biomaterials", which has been offered at the TU Bergakademie for the first time in Germany since 2018, he imparts modern knowledge about biomineralisation, biomimetics and bioinspired material sciences in relation to marine invertebrates.

Book cover of the new publication by Prof. Ehrlich.The renowned scientist has now published his findings in a new book entitled "Marine Biological Materials of Invertebrate Origin". The publication, published by Springer International Publishing Verlag, combines for the first time the topics of marine biology and biotechnology with materials science and is primarily intended to serve students and young scientists as a textbook.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Hermann Ehrlich, Phone: +49 3731 39-2867