Sharklet surface textureSharklet Technologies, LLC
Shark-inspired surface reduces bacterial growth without causing resistance
Carbon Nanotube Artificial MuscleIntelligent Polymer Research Institute
Electrolyte-filled twist-spun carbon nanotube yarn that is thinner than a human hair is able to function as a torsional artificial muscle in a simple three-electrode electrochemical system.
Flexibility encourages twisting, not bendingbanana
The stems of banana leaves twist rather than bend when pushed sideways because of their torsional flexibility.
Wing veins improve fracture toughnesslocust
Veins on wings of migratory locusts improve fracture toughness by acting as barriers to crack propagation.
Stiff platelets create building blocksanimals
Tissues of many animals are hard due to platelets arranged in a staggered micro-array inside a flexible matrix.
Matrix stiffens connective tissuesponges
The connective tissue of sponges is a matrix stiffened by embedded spicules.
Minerals strengthen vertebraesmooth-hound shark
Vertebrae of the smooth-hound shark are strengthened by being coated with minerals whose arrangement provides structural support.
Crystals and fibers provide strength, flexibilitybones
The composition of bones grants them strength, light weight, and some flexibility via small inorganic crystals and thin collagen fibers.
Nest cells support heavy weightsbees and wasps
Hives of bees and wasps support heavy weights using hexagonal cells in offset positions.
Heat creates precise shapesbees
The body heat of bees helps create precise angles and size within honeycombs via use of thermoplastic wax.
Architecture avoids flooding, creates microclimatesants
The nests of fungus-growing ants avoid flood damage and create uniform microclimates via necklace-like or tree-like architecture.
Leaf surface traps bed bugskidney bean
Trichome structures on surface of leaves of kidney bean plants trap bed bugs by having stiff tips that impale mechanically vulnerable locations on the bugs' legs.
Tissues resist bending under stressgiant green anemone
Anemones resist bending because of the high stress resistance of the tissues and the distance of those tissues from the axis of bending.