Melanin-based structural coloration of birds and its biomimetic applications

Deok Jin Jeon, Suejeong Paik, Seungmuk Ji, Jong Souk Yeo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Melanin has been a widely researched pigment by scientists for decades as it is undoubtedly the most ubiquitous and ancient pigment found in nature. Melanin plays very significant roles in structural plumage colors in birds: it has visible light-absorbing capabilities, and nanoscale structures can be formed by self-assembling melanin granules. Herein, we review recent progress on melanin-based structural coloration research. We hope that this review will provide current understanding of melanin’s structural and optical properties, natural coloration mechanisms, and biomimetic methods to implement artificial melanin-based structural colors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalApplied Microscopy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the National Institute of Ecology through the grant number NIE-C-2021-18, and also supported by Human Frontier Science Program through the grant number (RGP0047/2019).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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