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Pulling water from thin air : Inspired by a desert beetle, cactus and pitcher plant, researchers design a new material to collect water droplets

ScienceDaily (February 24, 2016)

Pulling water from thin air : Inspired by a desert beetle, cactus and pitcher plant, researchers design a new material to collect water droplets

ScienceDaily (February 24, 2016)

Organisms such as cacti and desert beetles can survive in arid environments because they’ve evolved mechanisms to collect water from thin air. The Namib desert beetle, for example, collects water droplets on the bumps of its shell while V-shaped cactus spines guide droplets to the plant’s body.

As the planet grows drier, researchers are looking to nature for more effective ways to pull water from air. Now, a team of researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have drawn inspiration from these organisms to develop a better way to promote and transport condensed water droplets

The new system, described in Nature, is inspired by the bumpy shell of desert beetles, the asymmetric structure of cactus spines and slippery surfaces of pitcher plants. The material harnesses the power of these natural systems, plus Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces technology (SLIPS) developed in Aizenberg’s lab, to collect and direct the flow of condensed water droplets.

Story Source  : Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Pour en savoir plus (ScienceDaily)

Page publiée le 18 mars 2016