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  • 1. Copycat!
  • 2. Nature has Some Amazing Nanoscience Feats …or Should We Say ‘Feets’. Studying the water strider’s nanogroovy setules on its toes has inspired scientists to design miniature aquatic devices and non- wetting materials. Water strider leg hairs and grooves on one hair.
  • 3. Help, my pads Eight-Legged Note Pads are stuck! • The strength of the suction in a spider’s foot is due to all of the small van der Waals forces at the nanoscale pulling at the same time. • So, why isn’t it stuck in one place? It lifts its leg so that the setules lift successively, not all at once. • This suggests to scientists that, in the future, super- strong Post-it® notes, modeled after the nanoscience of spider toes, will need to be pulled off very slowly, a little at a time. My pads are stuck, too!Hairy spider toes Setules on hairs
  • 4. And.. Using nanoscience and the van der Waals force, future Post-it® notes won’t just be strong, they’ll even stick if they got wet or greasy. Imagine astronauts using the same idea for spacesuits that help them stick to the walls of a spacecraft,just like a spider on the ceiling." I hope they invent that suit soon!
  • 5. Clean as a…• Gecko feet can stick to Gecko? seemingly smooth surfaces thanks to nanoscale setules on their feet; and the setules are self cleaning.• This bonding capability is inspiring scientists to develop a synthetic adhesive that is both dry and self-cleaning. SEM image of the polymer fibrillar adhesive fabricated at the NanoRobotics Laboratory, CMU
  • 6. A Material Stronger than Steel and More Elastic than Nylon?For 450 million years, spiders have made silk, protein-based nanomaterials that self-assemble into fibers andsheets.•If we figure out how to copy this nanscience feat,scientists would like to use the material to create anelevator to space.•Does that sound like a good idea to you?
  • 7. Color in Butterfly WingsButterfly wing scales in increasing magnitude Butterfly wings are layers of nanoparticles seperated by layers of air. The thickness of the layers changes the colors that we see.
  • 8. How Do We Mimic Wing Colors?The layered nanostructure of the butterflywing inspires scientists to develop textilesby assembling nanoparticles into layersfrom the ‘bottom up’.
  • 9. Living LED’s Butterflies figured out how to emit light 30 million years ago. Fluorescent patches on the wings of this Fluorescent patches on the wings of this African swallowtail butterflies work in a very African swallowtail butterflies work in a very similar way to high emission light emitting similar way to high emission light emitting diodes (LEDs). diodes (LEDs).
  • 10. Butterfly Nanostructure InspirationDepending on what you need, these nanoparticles might bemade into flourescent proteins, DNA, viruses, or dyes. Theideas are endless! These flourescent nanoscale polymer fibers might be used to reflect visible, UV and IR radiation for cooling or transmit certain wavelengths of light for warming. If made into optical chemical or stress sensing nanofibers, they can be added into other materials and structures. They can also used for bar coding or other functions.
  • 11. Look, Wings are Colorful Mom, I’m dry! and Hydrophobic! Water droplet Notice the butterfly’s wing in the picture isn’t getting wet? The butterfly can thank its lucky stars or, better yet, its nanoscales.More information can be found on the web at .Activities can be found at or
  • 12. As the Saying Goes… “Like Water Off of a Duck’s Back… Or a Butterfly’s Wing! This picture shows water droplets on a wood surface treated with "Lotus Spray“, The white bar on this The white bar on this a nanotechnology product picture of a butterfly wing nanoscopic view of a modeled after the butterfly is 1mm long. butterfly wing is 1 µm. wing and lotus leaf, which has made the surface extremely water-repellant (superhydrophobic).
  • 13. …and Dirt Off of a Butterfly’s Wing!” Besides repelling water (hydrophobic), the nanoscales make butterfly wings self-cleaning. Water droplet
  • 14. How These Surfaces WorkBecause of the nanostructures on This magnified image shows thea butterfly wing or other nanostructures on a wing surface. Because ofhydrophobic surface, a waterdrop the waxiness of the surface, the waterdropforms into a ball, rolling from the rolls – rather than slides – down the surface with little friction. The drop collects dirt andsurface and taking the dirt with it. bacteria on its way, and in effect cleans itself. Nanostructures, (tiny waxy "spikes“), on the surface prevent a water droplet from reachingBu the underlying material. It rolls off the waxy t te rfl tips which are very small compared to the y wi n g or water droplet. The force of the rolling water is su pe greater than the force of attraction between r-h yd the surface and dirt or bacteria which allows it ro p ho to be washed away. bi c su rfa ce = water = dirt
  • 15. Science Copies Self-Cleaning Nanoproperties! Scientists are copying this process Since I can’t take a bath, it’s with self cleaning hydrophobic a good thing I’m self-cleaning! micro-dots.An excellent video demonstrates howthis works at
  • 16. Wouldn’t It Be Nice If…?…more materials could be self-cleaning? water repellant? Can you think of some?
  • 17. Nanoscience Uses for Bioluminescence •Biological imagingDetection of cancers •Red is particularly useful because it can transmit through skin better than green light. Measuring rate of cell multiplication Pathogen detectionTracing tumorgrowth Food testing. Bacteria contain ATP that accelerates the firefly’s bioluminescence reaction. This makes Drug screening it especially good for quickly detecting bacterial contamination in food.
  • 18. Squid Lights Remember those squid belly nanoplatelets that reflect the light of bioluminescent bacteria? Those Squid platelets inspire nanotechnologists to include such protein-based reflectors in optical nanodevices.
  • 19. Toucan Beaks •The nanostructure of toucan beaks inspires automotive panels that could protect passengers in crashes. • And inspires construction of ultralight aircraft components.
  • 20. Thirsty? Living in the desert the thirsty Namib beetle collects dew to drink using nanodots on its back. So What can Thirsty People Do?Thirsty people in Chile and Haitigo to ridgetops to collect fog onlarge sheets on ridgetops. But as we learn about nanoscience in nature…
  • 21. We have Nanotechnology Solutions! You’re Scientists are modeling welcome! water harvesting surfaces after the Namib beetle’s nanotechnique.The Namib Beetle’s design is also a model for othernanotechnology: 1. controlled drug release coatings, 2. open-air microchannel devices, and 3. lab-on-chip devices. Patterned Superhydrophobic Surfaces: Toward a Synthetic Mimic of the Namib Desert Beetle Lei Zhai, Michael C. Berg, Fevzi Ç. Cebeci, Yushan Kim, John M. Milwid, Michael F. Rubner, and Robert E. Cohen Nano Lett.; 2006; 6(6) pp 1213 - 1217;
  • 22. `Don’t You Want to Mimic My Nanopowers? Ok, hippo sweat is -a sunscreen, -hydrophilic -and antibacterial. It sounds like promising nanoscience. But, personally, I’m having a little trouble getting excited about smearing something called hipposudoric acid on my body! Can you think of interesting ways to use this nanoscience or to make it sound more appealing?
  • 23. Nanoscience BiomimicryWe’ve looked at ways scientists are attempting to mimic thewonders of nanoscience in nature:•sticky “feet” •strong spider silk •self-cleaning light reflecting butterfly wings •optical nanoscience •water collecting beetle backs •tough and light toucan beaks •and the list could go on and on.
  • 24. Your SuperPower IdeaThese ideas have been copiedand modified by science fictionand cartoonists for decades. Now it is your turn to delve into the world of superheros and SuperHipp supervillains. o to the rescue! Take a nanoscience idea from nature. Create a superbeing or supertool that has a special power based on this nanoscience idea. Develop a visual aid and presentation to share with the class.
  • 25. Superpower or Nanopower Copycats? Spiderman uses the nanoscience of spider silk. Is this the only way that Spidey uses nanoscience? What other superheros could be using some of these nanoscience ideas to achieve their feats? A database of biomimicry may help you find ideas. The following database includes some examples of mimicry that are NOT nanoscale so be careful to select an idea that is based in nanoscience. If you don’t feel you are ready to start on your project yet and want more clarification or help. Click here for five more slides.