Nanomaterials (MDPI) – Special Issue on “Photonic Properties of Nanostructured Biomaterials”

Dr. Edoardo De Tommasi
Guest Editor

Through billions of years of evolution, Nature has provided numerous organisms, including algae, flora, insects, and birds, with structures at the micro- and nano-scale able to manipulate and control light with high efficiency, mainly for intraspecies communication and interspecies interaction. Some of these periodic or quasi-periodic structures can cause coherent or incoherent scattering; others act as one-dimensional, spectrally selective multilayer reflectors, polarization-selective reflectors, two-dimensional diffraction gratings, and photonic crystals, or can be shaped in complex hierarchical architectures whose optical properties rely on a fine interplay between order and disorder. Organisms provided with photonic nanostructures as constituent part of their conformation represent a sort of living, near-zero-cost nanofactory able to produce, at a high rate and on a large scale, three-dimensional architectures whose complexity can be hardly reproduced even by the most advanced lithographic techniques. Nevertheless, natural photonic nanostructures can be not only directly exploited as devices, but can also inspire the design of novel technologies, which is at the basis of the concept of biomimetics.

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide the scientific community with a wide overview of the most recent studies on the photonic properties of nanostructured biomaterials, in the fields of fundamental and applied research. Papers on the applications of biomimetics in the fields of photonics, optics, optoelectronics, and optical sensing will also be hosted.


  • Photonic structures in biology
  • Photonic nanostructures in biomaterials
  • Biomimetics in photonics and optics
  • Biomimetics in optical sensing
  • Periodic and ordered photonic nanostructures in nature
  • Disordered photonic nanostructures in nature
  • Numerical methods for the simulation of light propagation in biological nanostructures