Since the earliest scientific developments, researchers have looked to nature as an inspiration source for designing novel functional devices. The so-called bioinspiration and biomimetic designs enabled the development of multifunctional sensors. Recently, researchers developed an ultrasensitive flexible optical waveguide sensor bioinspired in orb webs. They named it bioinspired multifunctional flexible optical sensor (BioMFOS).
The multifunctional feature of the structure is due to transparent resins that present both mechanical and optical properties for structural integrity and strain/deflection transmission and the optical signal transmission properties with the core/cladding configuration of a waveguide.
The BioMFOS has small dimensions (around 2 cm) and is lightweight (0.8 g), making it suitable for wearables. It has an ultra-high sensitivity and resolution, capable of detecting forces (with their location) in the micro-newton range with a sub-millimeter spatial resolution. The bioinspiration multifunctional device can be helpful in biomedical, biomechanics, and micro/nanotechnology applications.