The Chameleon – Anna Xuyao Shi

King scallop

King Scallop Shell – Lise Guichaoua 

Egg-ceptional Nature – Anne Xuyao Shi

Biomineralization – Natalie Reznikov


Seals, Masters of Stalking – Anna Xuyao Shi

Bone mineral

Bone Mineral – Natalie Reznikov

Ammonite Fossil Formations – Aimee Fraser
Insect eye

Insect Eye – David Liu

Forest Crown

Forest Crown – Anna Xuyao Shi

Insect Abdomen

Insect Abdomen – David Liu


Hierarchical Structure in Feathers

Featuring the Eastern Bluebird

Catherine Xu

sea urchin spicule

Sea Urchin Spicule – David Liu


Yak- Natalie Reznikov


Bioengineering uses analytical methods to quantitatively describe biology. It also draws upon the sophistication of living systems to design and create. This very rapidly growing research area covers a broad range of topics, such as materials science, biomedical applications, biophysics, molecular biology, and environmental engineering.

BIEN 200 is an introductory course for bioengineering students. Throughout it, students work in groups on a three-part project that gives them greater insight into the three major streams offered by McGill University’s Bioengineering program. 

This hyperlinked e-book ‒ Nature’s Design Toolbox ‒ is the repository of the BIEN 200 student projects. The Hyperbook aims at building and promoting an overarching understanding of design solutions in the context of evolutionary adaptations of living organisms. The curated proceedings illustrate, analyze and systematize the nontrivial and parsimonious biological adaptations in the context of Physics (biological materials, mechanics, and sensing), Chemistry (biomolecular, cellular, and tissue engineering), and Mathematics (biological information and computational engineering). Besides being a source of inspiration and creativity, the Hyperbook is intended to help bioengineering applicants and undergraduate students choose their preferred bioengineering stream. We hope you enjoy it!