Researchers have developed a bacteria-resistant silicone coating inspired by dragonfly wings. via utne.com
Proving once again that some of the best technologies are those derived from nature, researchers have developed a bacteria-fighting silicone surface inspired by the wings of the dragonfly. As Beth Mole reports in Science News (Dec. 28, 2013), the research, which was first published in Nature Communications, says that the bacteria-resistant surface can be incorporated into the coatings of medical instruments and food-processing equipment, greatly reducing the risks of infection.
Using a scanning electron microscope, researchers found that the spiky surface of dragonfly wings can literally pop bacteria cells on contact. Researchers then used inexpensive and easy-to-manipulate black silicone to create microscopic spikes just 500 nanometers tall and 20-30 nanometers thick that are as effective as the spikes on dragonfly wings at killing bacteria. Remarkably, the process of creating the bacteria-thwarting silicone surface takes only five minutes. “(It) seems pretty straightforward and versatile,” said nanochemist Thomas Webster of Northeastern University in Boston. “There’s a lot of promise for nanoscale features to reduce bacterial growth without antibiotics.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.