We investigated other insects that may possess similar surface architectures that might kill more bacteria, in particular the deadly strains of the Staphylococcus aureus or golden staph bacterium”, said Elena Ivanova, microbiology professor at the Swinburne University of Technology.
Their search led them to the wings of the Diplacodes bipunctata (Wandering Percher dragonfly), whose spike-like nanostructure destroys both rod-shaped and spherical bacteria. Working with Saulius Juodkazis, Swinburne Professor of Nanophotonics, the team decided to mimic the surface structure of the dragonfly wing on black silicon (bSi) surface.
La véritable performance, c’est que l’insecte capte les sons, les convertit en vibrations et les analyse en une seule étape, avec la membrane de son tympan, par des moyens purement mécaniques. Chez les mammifères, l’opération se fait en 3 étapes. Et dans un microphone, le signal acoustique doit être converti en signal électrique.
Les chercheurs de Bristol ont montré, en mêlant techniques d’analyses sophistiquées et simulation numérique, que les capacités exceptionnelles de la sauterelle sont liées à la microstructure de son tympan : les variations d’épaisseur et de tension de la membrane, qui lui permettent d’analyser la fréquence des sons perçus
Materials scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have created a new type of transistor that mimics the behavior of a synapse. The synaptic transistor simultaneously modulates the flow of information in a circuit and physically adapts to changing signals. The technology could lead to creation of a new kind of artificial intelligence which is embedded in the very architecture of a computer rather than software.
“The transistor we’ve demonstrated is really an analog to the synapse in our brains”, said Jian Shi, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS. “Each time a neuron initiates an action and another neuron reacts, the synapse between them increases the strength of its connection. And the faster the neurons spike each time, the stronger the synaptic connection. Essentially, it memorizes the action between the neurons.”
Architect Renzo Piano designed a more efficient wind turbine that operates with only two blades.
The technique lies in the slim-line design of the turbines, which is developed to mimic the form of a dragonfly in flight and how it can glide through gale-force winds.
The lightweight materials – carbon and polycarbonate – used to construct the Dragonfly enables it to harness the lightest of winds, generating power with only 2m/second and at low altitudes. Initial performance of the light-weight turbine has been fruitful, having generated over 1200KWh.
When it comes to designing extremely water-repellent surfaces, shape and size matter. That's the finding of a group of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, who investigated the effects of differently shaped, nanoscale textures on a material's ability to force water droplets to roll off without wetting its surface. These findings and the methods used to fabricate such materials-published online October 21, 2013, in Advanced Materials-are highly relevant for a broad range of applications where water-resistance is important, including power generation and transportation.
Adhesion is an extremely important factor in living nature: insects can climb up walls, plants can twine up them, and cells are able to adhere to surfaces. During evolution, many of them developed mushroom-shaped adhesive structures and organs.
Le Professeur Ben Hatton de l'Université de Toronto s'est inspiré de la nature pour améliorer l'efficacité énergétique des fenêtres.
Dans un article récemment paru dans Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, Le Professeur Hatton et ses collègues de l'Université de Harvard ont décrit un nouveau procédé pour diminuer les pertes de chaleur en hiver et garder les bâtiments frais en été. Leur approche "bio-inspirée pour la régulation thermique des fenêtres" consiste en une pellicule d'élastomère flexible et transparent, intégré aux panneaux de fenêtres habituels."
Bayer MaterialScience has designed a prototype car trunk lid, using a sandwich structure with a dense outer skin made of a glass fiber/polycarbonate-based thermoplastic composite and a polyurethane foam inner core.
It is noteworthy that this year's Auto Show 2013 in Los Angeles chose biomimicry as its 10th Design Challenge. Nine contestants vied for first-place honors in the "Biomimicry & Mobility 2025 -- Nature's Answer to Human Challenges" competition, and on Nov. 21, a winner was announced.
I was excited to see what the design shops of some of the best-known carmakers -- including BMW, Subaru and Toyota -- would produce when asked to create a sustainable vehicle of the future based on nature. And while I was a bit disappointed by the results, some designs were truly innovative.
StartupNectar enables early-stage, biomimicry-based ventures to access resources and gain traction in the marketplace. The incubation model is informed by nature’s strategies for creating conditions conducive to life.
"Human body armor has come a long way since the steel-plated suits of the Middle Ages, but protective animal structures — such as some shells and scales — still beat the most sophisticated man-made gear in terms of mobility and rigidity. Researchers at MIT are now using3D printing to bring humans up to speed with their animal kin by studying some of the sturdiest forms of animal armor, particularly fish scales, to design gear that matches the flexibility, comfort and durability found in the natural world."
A composite aluminum announced in a new study this week borrows its structure from the Asian pomelo.
Materials scientists in Germany figured out how to build the same type of structure of aluminum. They say their new fruit-inspired composite has the best attributes of pure aluminum and an aluminum-silicon alloy, yielding a hybrid that resists deformation and is tough to break. Their work appears this week in the Journal of Materials Science.
Read more: Fruit of Aluminum: Scientists Invent Peel-Inspired Metal - Popular Mechanics
Nature’s inventiveness often inspires human innovation as in the well-known case of hook-and-loop fasteners: Swiss engineer George de Mestrel turned a hiking annoyance (burrs) into a handy tool (Velcro). But did you know that safety road markers were inspired by a cat’s eyes reflecting headlights?
MIT researchers have found that adding genetically modified viruses to the production of nanowires — wires that are about the width of a red blood cell, and which can serve as one of a battery's electrodes — could help solve some of these problems.
The fan blade utilizes a design with a serrated edge that is inspired by the aerodynamic and mostly silent wings of an owl. With an aerodynamic design, the fan needs less energy to cleave through the air, making it more energy efficient.
Self-healing solar cells - possessing "vascular" networks similar to those in plant leaves - have now been created by researchers from North Carolina State University. The new solar cells are able to effectively and inexpensively restore themselves to optimal functioning thanks to their possession of a "network of channels" which mimics the organic vascular systems found in most plants
"The Morpho is a jewel among butterflies, with its gracefully contoured, iridescent blue wings flashing in the breeze. Familiar from the cover of Illustra's film Metamorphosis, this species exhibits additional intelligent designs the film didn't have time to discuss. Their brilliant color comes not from pigments but from precisely aligned structures in the wing scales that play tricks with light, producing what physicists call "structural color." Certain colors are canceled out, and others reinforced, by the arrangement of "photonic crystals" that resemble tiny trees made of biomolecule chitin. Engineers have already mimicked the iridescence by creating photonic crystals of their own. But there's more. The structures on Morpho butterfly wings also absorb heat, repel water, and control the flow of vapors. The Morpho is a treasure house of design ideas for biomimetics projects, as research news from the University of Exeter reveals. From fabrics to cosmetics to sensors, all kinds of innovations are being inspired by this one genus of butterfly."