In the sea, a whale’s skin is home to barnacles, algae, and bacteria. In contrast, shark skin is squeaky clean. Parasites appear unable to attach to the shark skin. It is thought that the many small ridges and bumps on the shark’s skin surface discourage attachment. Bacteria prefer to colonize a smooth surface; a textured surface many require too much energy. The shark skin does not kill bacteria but simply discourages their presence. As a result, there is little chance of bacteria overcoming their resistance to shark skin.
In hospitals nursing call buttons, bed rails, and tray tables.
In restaurant door handles, especially in public restrooms
Continue reading Shark Skin as an bacteria barrier
In 1935, inventor Paul Sperry sought a solution to a problem encountered in his hobby of sailing off the shore of New England. Whenever the boat deck became wet, it was slippery and dangerous. One winter day during a walk, he noticed that his cocker spaniel remained surefooted, even on slippery sidewalks. Sperry later examined the dog’s paws closely and noticed wave-like grooves on the pads.
grip on slippery surfaces
Continue reading dog paw inspires for shoes
North American porcupines are well known for their unusual defense. An adult is coated with perhaps 30,000 needle-like hairs. An unfortunate dog that gets too close may find its nose resembling a pin cushion. Furthermore, the needles are not easy to remove. They are coated with microscopic, flexible plate-like barbs which make penetration relatively easy, but extraction requires a strong and painful pull.
Continue reading porcupines inspire for medical applications and wound healing
A species of North African scorpion does not mind getting sand blasted or whipped by desert winds. While other desert creatures burrow downward for protection, the scorpion scurries in the open and withstands abrasion. Studies reveal that its surface is covered with many hardened, dome-shaped bumps just a few microns in size. This armor coating deflects nearby air flow and reduces the force of wind and sand.
Continue reading scorpion “skin” for more abrasion resistance
The thorny devil lizard, or thorny dragon, lives in the desert areas of central Australia. This lizard, just 4-6 inches long, looks ferocious with a body completely covered with thorny spines. Two additional large pointed scales on its head resemble curved horns.
How does this animal survive in a dry land where the temperature reaches 122⁰F (50⁰ C)?
Continue reading Thorny Devil Lizard as Water Collector
An international exhibition took place in Paris in 1889, the early counterpart of today’s World’s Fairs. During the planning stage there was competition between architects for new structures to commemorate the grand event. One French engineer, Gustave (Gustavo) Eiffel (1832-1923), went to an unusual source for new design ideas. He reviewed the work of anatomist Herman von Meyer.1 In the 1850s, Meyer had studied the human femur, or thighbone, which connects to the hip.
Continue reading early bionic inspiration: the study of leg bones leads to the Eiffel Tower
Our hard-working lungs clearly show intelligent planning. Within our lungs, countless tiny air sacks called alveoli exchange gases from the bloodstream, supplying fresh oxygen and removing carbon dioxide. The component membranes which allow separation and passage of the gases are about one thousand times thinner than a printed period. The total gas exchange area adds up to at least 70 time an adult’s total body surface area, or the size of a volleyball court. Specialized chemicals, especially carbonic anhydrase, help carry on the continuous gas exchange process.
Continue reading will our lungs help to reduce carbon dioxid emissions on our planet?
Transpiration is the evaporation of water from the leaves of plants and trees. The undersides of leaves are dotted with hundreds of tiny openings called stoma. Carbon dioxide enters the leaf through these pores, and water escapes. A mature tree may evaporate hundreds of gallons of water on a warm, dry day. The process cools the vegetation and also allows the internal flow of nutrients. The familiar veins within leaves transmit the water to the stoma. Studies have shown that the branching veins, called a dendrite pattern, are spaced out for maximum water flow. This leaf vein pattern may help design engineers build more efficient irrigation systems.
Tomato leaf stoma
generate , harvest water
Continue reading Leaves learn us how to produce electricity and harvest water
The dromedary camel is at home in the hot Sahara Desert where temperatures can exceed 170°F (77°C). Special features of the camel’s nose allow it conserve precious moisture with each breath.
seawater-salt removal, desert greening
Continue reading Dromedary inspires for seawater-salt removal
The 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.
Continue reading Nature’s Water Filter