MORPH-Reef project (2020-2023) – Biomimicry and 4D printing to develop adaptive structures for marine applications

  • Collaborative project between : Institut de Recherche Dupuy de Lome (IRDL) + Laboratoire de Biologie et de Chimie Marine (LBCM) + Tokyo University of Sciences (TUS)
  • Funds : (Isblue/ Brittany region)
  • Candidate: Thomas Fruleux
  • Guidance : Antoine le Duigou, Mickael Castro, Pierre Sauleau and R Mastuzaki

The problem of biotic depletion in the coastal and coastal areas is now admitted by the scientific community. To remedy this, artificial reefs intended to promote the dynamics of restocking have been developed in coastal areas such as in France or Japan. However, these are often made up of concrete blocks, concrete blocks, ship hulls or used tires. These are by no means sustainable solutions.

The Morph-Reef project aims to develop a new concept of bioinspired artificial reef both deployable and having a controlled lifespan.

Inspired by the asymmetric microstructure present in certain so-called passive biological structures (pine cone, ears of wheat, etc.), these new reef elements will be able to propose shape changes according to the different habitats to be recreated. For this, they will be architectured by 4D printing, where the response of the material will be programmed via its architecture. In addition, their formulation will be optimized in order to i) ensure the role of physicochemical substrate for colonizing species and ii) allow active release of polysaccharides to stimulate the growth of colonizing species.

Finally, Morph-reef is a multidisciplinary project at the crossroads of materials science, mechanics, marine biology and ecology.