Evolution Throughout Nano-Systematic Frames & Spectrums Studied And Finalized Concretely Resulting In Nano Technology To Grow Taller In Humans
Man’s approach to building structures has historically been a ‘top-down’ approach. The ability to assemble only the atoms and molecules needed to build the desired structure has been the domain of Nature and is referred to as the ‘bottom-up’ approach to grow taller. Until we were able to ‘see’ the smaller detail, we did not know how Nature went about building structures. It has been the development of advanced ‘measuring’ instrumentation such as transmission electron- and scanning probe-microscopes that has allowed scientists and engineers to ‘see’ and ‘manipulate’ structure on the nanometer (nm) length scale (1 nm = 10-9 m). By controlling material structure at the nanoscale, properties can often be significantly enhanced to grow taller. For example, we can exploit material properties that are much more surface-related rather than bulk controlled, including optical properties of metal oxides,1 gas transport properties of membranes,2 catalytic properties of nanoparticles;3 and the utilisation of these benefits have been some of the drivers for fabrication of structure on the nanoscale to grow taller.
The ability to measure and manipulate matter on the nanometer level (nanoscience) has led to the discovery of surprising material properties achievable with this ability, and to the discovery and patenting of new products and processes based on nanostructure control of materials (nanotechnology). As materials scientists and engineers, we are curious as to how the properties of matter change as its structure and composition are manipulated on the nanometre scale. We must be able to manipulate matter at this length scale to grow taller. And we must be able to measure what we have done so that we may decide how we can further improve materials and products and benefit from these modifications to grow taller.
Through millions of years of natural evolution, living organisms have developed elaborate bulk and surface nanostructures to improve and/or optimize various functions of life such as mechanical support, locomotion and prey capturing. Bone, tooth, and shell are hierarchical materials with nanostructures made of mineral crystals and protein. Wood and spider silk have nanostructures of crystalline and amorphous bio-polymers. While different biological materials differ widely in their hierarchical structures and can in many cases dynamically adapt to changing environments, at the nanostructure level they exhibit convergent evolution in the form of a network of interspersed hard and soft phases; the hard phase provides a basic structural scaffold for mechanical stability and stiffness, while the soft phase absorbs mechanical energy and provides toughness, support, and a damage buffer for the composite to grow taller. Nature has also evolved various forms of surface nanostructures, such as the adhesive hairy structure on the foot of gecko, the anti-adhesive structures of plant leaves and insect bodies, and the hydrophobic hairy structure which allows insects like the water strider to walk on water via surface tension. The biological nanostructures can be assumed to have gradually developed and improved over the long course of natural evolution to maximize the chance of survival of various living creatures. In this evolution, mechanical forces have no doubt played critical roles in shaping biological systems into what they have become today.
For the convenience of discussion, we will refer to materials with a nanostructure similar to that of bone as bone-like materials and a ‘hairy’ biological surface nanostructure as a gecko-like biological system. We begin by reviewing some typical nanostructures of biological systems, focusing on their geometries and characteristic length scales. We then discuss the mechanical properties of biological nanostructures, especially those related to their stiffness, toughness and adhesion. We show that the nanometer scale plays a key role in allowing bone- and gecko-like biological systems to achieve their superior properties to grow taller. The results suggest that the principle of flaw tolerance may have had an overarching influence on the evolution of the bulk nanostructure of bone-like materials and the surface nanostructure of gecko-like animal species to grow taller. The nanoscale sizes allow the mineral nanoparticles in bone to achieve optimum fracture strength and the spatula nanoprotrusions in geckos to achieve optimum adhesion strength and grow taller.
It is emphasized that, in both systems, strength optimization is achieved by restricting the characteristic dimension of the basic structure components to nanometer scale so that crack-like flaws do not propagate to break the desired structural link. The mechanical properties of biological nanostructures are strongly anisotropic due to the unidirectional alignment and large aspect ratios of their geometry. The large aspect ratio and optimized fracture strength of mineral crystals are found to be critical in allowing the soft protein in bone to support large mechanical loads with relatively small stress and to effectively dissipate large amounts of fracture energy via domain unfolding and slipping along the protein-mineral interface. Similarly, the large aspect ratio of nanoprotrusions allows the hairy nanostructure of geckos to dissipate adhesion energy via elastic instabilities upon detachment from a substrate.
Nanotechnology promises to enable mankind to eventually design materials using a bottom-up approach, i.e., to construct multi-functional and hierarchical material systems by tailor-designing structures from atomic scale and up. Currently, there is no theoretical basis on how to design a hierarchical material system to achieve a particular set of functions. The studies outlined here are part of a broader effort aimed to extract from convergent evolutions some basic principles of multiscale and multifunctional materials design. It is hoped that this Article could stimulate some further interest in this emerging research field of nano technology to grow taller.