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Author: Subject: The Science Of Biomimicry & Its Application To A Product Called Sharklet
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[*] Post 501282 posted on 30-1-2016 at 23:32 Reply With Quote
The Science Of Biomimicry & Its Application To A Product Called Sharklet

The Science Of Biomimicry And Its Application To A Product Called Sharklet

Biomimicry is the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems. It is based on the principal that living organisms have evolved well-adapted structures and materials over geological time through natural selection. Biomimetics has given rise to new technologies inspired by biological solutions; Sharklet is one of them.

Sharklet, manufactured by Sharklet Technologies, is a plastic sheet product. Its surface is structured to impede bacterial growth. It is marketed for use in hospitals and other places with a relatively high potential for bacteria to spread and cause infections. Coating surfaces with Sharklet greatly reduces the growth of bacteria, due to the nano-scale texture of the product's surface.

The inspiration for Sharklet's texture was made by analyzing the texture of shark skin, which does not attract barnacles or other biofouling, unlike ship hulls and other smooth surfaces. The texture was found to also repel microbial activity. Yes, that's right: the technology is completely based on inhibiting bacterial growth through a pattern alone.

Sharklet material was developed by Dr. Tony Brennan, material science and engineering professor at University of Florida, Pearl Harbor while trying to improve antifouling technology for ships and submarines.

Brennan realized that sharks do not experience fouling. He observed that shark skin denticles are arranged in a distinct diamond pattern with millions of tiny ribs. The width-to-height ratio of shark denticle riblets corresponded to his mathematical model for the texture of a material that would discourage microorganisms from settling.

Sharklet's topography creates mechanical stress on settling bacterium, a phenomenon known as mechanotransduction. Nanoforce gradients caused by surface variations induces stress gradients within the lateral plane of the surface membrane of a settling microorganism during initial contact. This stress gradient disrupts normal cell functions, forcing the microorganism to provide energy to adjust its contact area on each topographical feature to equalize the stresses. This expenditure of energy is thermodynamically unfavorable to the settler (the bacterium that could lead to an infection that could kill you), inducing it to search for a different surface to attach to.

A major USA news organization did an elaborate piece on this technology; it 6:30
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[*] Post 501286 posted on 31-1-2016 at 00:56 Reply With Quote

Sounds more like a great design than an evolutionary effect, otherwise we'd all be like that. But still, a great discovery and, hopefully, Nobel prize worthy.
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[*] Post 501288 posted on 31-1-2016 at 11:53 Reply With Quote

Very interesting, Jack. Marvelous what they can do these days.:)
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