A short video zooms into a lotus leaf from the macro scale to the nano scale while explaining how the structure makes the leaf self-cleaning. There's also a related activity to explore other leaves.

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Several biomimetic products have mimicked the self-cleaning lotus leaf. This video explains how the leaf’s structure creates superhydrophobicity to keep the leaf clean of mud and bacteria that can interfere with photosynthesis.

The related Lotus Leaf Effect Activity is designed for use in a museum, but can easily be done in the classroom using leaves found in homes or grocery stores and other easily obtained materials, or could be adapted for a field trip. The activity also mentions two products, Lotusan paint and Nanotex fabrics. Some of the links don’t work but a simple online search will take teachers and students to the manufacturers’ websites.

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Objectives

  • Viewers will appreciate that nanotechnology can be found in living things like the Lotus Leaf.

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