Category Archives: material quantity

ultra-small lab equipment based on Bladderworts roots

Bladderwort1 Bladderwort2One of the smallest traps in the world is inspiring physicists in studies of fluids. Bladderworts are a type of plant that grows in standing water or wet soil, and sometimes in very rough conditions. A unique aspect of this plant is its underwater roots which include many microscopic bladder-like traps. The trap looks like a small bubble and is covered with tiny hairs and “trap-doors.” The plants capture tadpoles, protozoa, or even water fleas, depending upon the species. When the unsuspecting victim approaches the trap-door, it suddenly opens, sucks in the creature, and then shuts again, all in less than one-thousandth of a second. Bladderworts are among the smallest carnivorous plants in the world.

Technical application:

ultra thin pipettes

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Dog inspired drying machines

dogshakingPerhaps you have stood near a wet dog as it dries by shaking its fur. Watch out! An impressive amount of water is thrown off in all directions. The shaking technique for furry creatures including mice, dogs, and bears is studied by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. They find that larger animals tend to move their bodies at a frequency of 4-5 shakes per second. Mice and rats move more rapidly, up to 27 shakes per second. Whatever the size, each creature begins the shaking process with its head and then the process moves along the body. Mathematical formulas have been established for the animal shaking process based on size, nature of the fur, water surface tension, and other variables. The animals apparently know these technical details by instinct.

Technical application:

drying machines

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leaf-solar collector; make your own hydrogen

leaf Solar energy is a popular topic today, and plants provide us with ideas for efficient collection of sunshine energy. During photosynthesis, sunlight converts carbon dioxide into water and sugars which nourish the plant. Worldwide, the daily rate leaf2of solar energy absorption by vegetation is six times greater than the output of all the world’s power plants.

Technical application:

produce energy (e.g. hydrogen)

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Miracle Tree helps to get clean Water for a cheap price

Moringa_oleifera_drumstick_fruitIn today’s world more than one billion people lack access to clean drinking water. This leads to untold suffering and death from dysentery, typhoid, and other diseases associated with contaminated water sources. Children are especially victims of unsafe water. One solution to this serious problem comes from a tree which grows worldwide in both tropical and arid areas worldwide, called the miracle tree.

Technical application:

water filters

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beaver teeths for sharp cutting-tools

beaver.jpgGerman engineers have applied the tooth sharpening ability of rodents to cutting tools.

Beavers, rats, rabbits and similar rodents depend on their teeth for survival. They are experts at gnawing, and their teeth are designed with a self-sharpening ability. Unlike our own, roSaw_bladedent teeth are covered with enamel on only the front side. Softer dentine is exposed on the back of the front teeth. As the rodent chews and wears down its teeth, it alternates grinding its lower incisors against either the front or the back of the upper incisors. As a result, the hard enamel slowly wears down the softer dentine and the teeth remain sharp. The teeth also continue to grow from the root, maintaining their length. The animals must continue to gnaw or their teeth will outgrow their mouth.

Technical application:

self shaping tools

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DNA will rule Mass-Data-Storage

DNA-photo1DNA is a complex biomolecule which is embedded in the cells of all living organisms.  DNA consists of two intertwined chains of simpler molecules. The arrangement of these units serves as a blueprint or recipe for the structure and internal activity of plants, animals, and people. Life is incredibly complex, and much guiding information is needed. Just one gram of DNA holds as much information as one trillion compact discs. Obviously, such computer storage capacity lies far beyond our technology.

Technical application:

mass storage

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Nature’s Water Filter

waterfilterThe 2003 Nobel Prize was awarded in part to Peter Agre of Johns Hopkins for his discovery, around 1990, of a membrane protein that allows water to pass through cell walls. The discovery of aquaporin solved a longtime problem in biochemistry.

Technical application:

water filters

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use liana or an air-beam to conquer long distances

lianaTensairity® is a revolutionary light weight beam element developed by Airlight Ldt. The synergetic combination of an airbeam, cables and struts leads to this extraorditensartitynary light weight structure, using very low internal pressure but with the load bearing capacity of conventional steel girders.






Technical application:

huge constructions over long distances

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Seashells are harder than ceramics and can be printed by your desktop 3D printer?

sea_shellFor example, an abalone shell is stronger than high-tech ceramics because of its internal structure. Diatom shells are made of silica (glass), but they are extremely strong because of their stress-distributing pattern of holes.cutter

Like nature, 3-D printers can excel at building complex structures from simple materials, said Benyus. Both use an additive process, meaning larger pieces are built up from smaller ones.


Technical application:

unexpected high! Continue reading Seashells are harder than ceramics and can be printed by your desktop 3D printer?

Building based on mechanical stiffness of sea-sponges

sponge The Euplectella aspergillum is a cylindrical sponge that lives intropical waters. It has a height of 45 cm. Its exoskeleton conbionic_buildingsists of hydrated, amorphous silicon dioxide organized into a complexnetwork of spicules that supports the structure. These fibres, whichare 5-10 cm long and as thin as a hair form a crown at the foot ofthe network that anchors the sponge to the bottom of the ocean.

Technical application:

tall structures

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