26 September, 2011
Bio solution
By copying spiders, scientists invent a material that refuses to get wet

Several years of observing spiders and their unique abilities has finally born fruit for scientists at the University of Florida. Basing their work on their knowledge of the spiders' unique adaptive features – their body hair, in particular - the scientists were able to mimic these natural phenomena to create an innovative new material that utilizes the same principle as the body surface of spiders. Yeah, we know – images of Spiderman leapt to our minds too. But while it does not allow humans to shoot webbing from their wrists or leap between skyscrapers, this stuff has real potential applications in the world.
The material blocks water, self-cleans and most importantly, does not require any topical treatment or chemicals to repel moisture, giving it great potential for a wide range of uses, from food packaging to solar cells to windows, while also potentially eliminating the need for topical and chemical products like car windshield treatments. The innovative pattern used in this particular material, the scientists say, can even be used in absorbent materials such as sponges to keep them from staying waterlogged after use. We can’t wait to see where this one goes!
Image via: somadjinn @ stock.xchng

By: Ecozine Staff


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