Hierarchically structured flower leaves (petals) of many plants are superhydrophobic, but water droplets do not roll-off when the surfaces are tilted. On such surfaces water droplets are in the “Cassie impregnating wetting state”, which is also known as the “petal effect”. By analyzing the petal surfaces of different species, we discovered interesting new wetting characteristics of the surface of the flower of the wild pansy (Viola tricolor). This surface is superhydrophobic with a static contact angle of 169° and very low hysteresis, i.e., the petal effect does not exist and water droplets roll-off as from a lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) leaf. However, the surface of the wild pansy petal does not possess the wax crystals of the lotus leaf. Its petals exhibit high cone-shaped cells (average size 40 µm) with a high aspect ratio (2.1) and a very fine cuticular folding (width 260 nm) on top. The applied water droplets are in the Cassie–Baxter wetting state and roll-off at inclination angles below 5°. Fabricated hydrophobic polymer replicas of the wild pansy were prepared in an easy two-step moulding process and possess the same wetting characteristics as the original flowers. In this work we present a technical surface with a new superhydrophobic, low adhesive surface design, which combines the hierarchical structuring of petals with a wetting behavior similar to that of the lotus leaf.
anti-adhesive; petal effect; petal structures; polymer replication; superhydrophobic
Lotus leaves have become an icon for superhydrophobicity and self-cleaning surfaces, and have led to the concept of the ‘Lotus effect’. Although many other plants have superhydrophobic surfaces with almost similar contact angles, the lotus shows better stability and perfection of its water repellency. Here, we compare the relevant properties such as the micro- and nano-structure, the chemical composition of the waxes and the mechanical properties of lotus with its competitors. It soon becomes obvious that the upper epidermis of the lotus leaf has developed some unrivaled optimizations. The extraordinary shape and the density of the papillae are the basis for the extremely reduced contact area between surface and water drops. The exceptional dense layer of very small epicuticular wax tubules is a result of their unique chemical composition. The mechanical robustness of the papillae and the wax tubules reduce damage and are the basis for the perfection and durability of the water repellency. A reason for the optimization, particularly of the upper side of the lotus leaf, can be deduced from the fact that the stomata are located in the upper epidermis. Here, the impact of rain and contamination is higher than on the lower epidermis. The lotus plant has successfully developed an excellent protection for this delicate epistomatic surface of its leaves.
epicuticular wax; leaf surface; Lotus effect; papillae; water repellency
Superhydrophobic surfaces of plants and animals are of great interest for biomimetic applications. Whereas the self-cleaning properties of superhydrophobic surfaces have been extensively investigated, their ability to retain an air film while submerged under water has not, in the past, received much attention. Nevertheless, air retaining surfaces are of great economic and ecological interest because an air film can reduce friction of solid bodies sliding through the water. This opens perspectives for biomimetic applications such as low friction fluid transport or friction reduction on ship hulls. For such applications the durability of the air film is most important. While the air film on most superhydrophobic surfaces usually lasts no longer than a few days, a few semi-aquatic plants and insects are able to hold an air film over a longer time period. Currently, we found high air film persistence under hydrostatic conditions for the elytra of the backswimmer Notonecta glauca which we therefore have chosen for further investigations. In this study, we compare the micro- and nanostructure of selected body parts (sternites, upper side of elytra, underside of elytra) in reference to their air retaining properties. Our investigations demonstrate outstanding air film persistence of the upper side of the elytra of Notonecta glauca under hydrostatic and hydrodynamic conditions. This hierarchically structured surface was able to hold a complete air film under hydrostatic conditions for longer than 130 days while on other body parts with simple structures the air film showed gaps (underside of elytra) or even vanished completely after a few days (sternites). Moreover, the upper side of the elytra was able to keep an air film up to flow velocities of 5 m/s. Obviously the complex surface structure with tiny dense microtrichia and two types of larger specially shaped setae is relevant for this outstanding ability. Besides high air film persistence, the observation of a considerable fluid velocity directly at the air–water interface indicates the ability to reduce friction significantly. The combination of these two abilities makes these hierarchically structured surfaces extremely interesting as a biomimetic model for low friction fluid transport or drag reduction on ship hulls.
air film; aquatic insects; backswimmer; drag reduction; superhydrophobic surfaces
A copolyacrylate with semifluorinated and polydimethylsiloxane side chains (D5-3) was used as a surface modifier for a condensation cured PDMS coating. The decyl fluorous group is represented by “D”; “5” is a 5 kDa silicone, and “3” the mole ratio of fluorous to silicone side chain. Wetting behavior was assessed by dynamic contact angle (DCA) analysis using isopropanol, which differentiates silicone and fluorous wetting behavior. Interestingly, a maximum in surface oleophobicity was found at low D5-3 concentration (0.4 wt%). Higher concentrations result in decreased oleophobicity reflected in decreased contact angles. To understand this unexpected observation, dynamic light scattering (DLS) studies were initiated on a model system consisting of hydroxyl-terminated PDMS (18 kDa) containing varying amounts of D5-3. DLS revealed D5-3 aggregation as a function of temperature and concentration. A model is proposed by which D5-3 surface concentration is depleted via phase separation favoring D5-3 aggregation at concentrations >0.4 wt%, that is, the CMC. This model suggests increasing aggregate / micelle concentrations at increased D5-3 concentration. Bulk morphologies studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) support this model by showing increased aggregate concentrations with increased D5-3 >0.4 wt%.
PDMS; surface modification; silicone; semifluorinated; oleophobicity; CMC; aggregation; contact angle; surface tension; fluorous/PDMS copolyacrylate
The mobility of drops on surfaces is important in many biological and industrial processes, but the phenomena governing their adhesion, which is dictated by the morphology of the three-phase contact line, remain unclear. Here we describe a technique for measuring the dynamic behaviour of the three-phase contact line at micron length scales using environmental scanning electron microscopy. We examine a superhydrophobic surface on which a drop’s adhesion is governed by capillary bridges at the receding contact line. We measure the microscale receding contact angle of each bridge and show that the Gibbs criterion is satisfied at the microscale. We reveal a hitherto unknown self-similar depinning mechanism that shows how some hierarchical textures such as lotus leaves lead to reduced pinning, and counter-intuitively, how some lead to increased pinning. We develop a model to predict adhesion force and experimentally verify the model’s broad applicability on both synthetic and natural textured surfaces.
The motion of liquid drops on surfaces is governed by adhesion forces, but the microscopic mechanism is unclear. Paxson et al. image the dynamic distortion of the edge of a droplet as it moves across a surface, allowing them to predict the wetting ability of different hierarchically textured surfaces.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is emerging as the most common liver disease of industrialized countries. Thus, discovering food components that can ameliorate NAFLD is of interest. Lotus root, the edible rhizome of Nelumbo nucifera, contains high levels of polyphenolic compounds, and several health-promoting properties of lotus root have been reported. In this study, we tested whether feeding a polyphenolic extract of lotus root to db/db mice protects them from hepatic steatosis.
After 3 weeks of feeding, the hepatomegaly and hepatic triglyceride accumulation were markedly alleviated in the lotus polyphenol-diet-fed db/db mice relative to the control mice. Although the lipolytic enzyme activity was not changed, the activities of lipogenic enzymes, such as fatty acid synthase and malic enzyme, were significantly lower in the lotus polyphenol diet-fed db/db mice. Additionally, the ESI-IT/MS and MALDI-TOF MS spectra revealed the presence of B-type proanthocyanidin polymers with polymerization degree up to 9 in the polyphenolic lotus root extract.
We speculate that the condensed tannins contained in lotus root can alleviate hepatic steatosis by suppressing the lipogenic enzyme activity in the livers of db/db mice.
Biomimicry (literally defined as the imitation of life or nature) has sparked a variety of human innovations and inspired countless cutting-edge designs. From spider silk-made artificial skin to lotus leaf-inspired self-cleaning materials, biomimicry endeavors to solve human problems. Biomimetic approaches have contributed significantly to advances biomedical research during recent years. Using polyacrylamide gels to mimic the elastic modulus of different biological tissues, Disher’s lab has directed meschymal stem cell differentiation into specific lineages.1 They have shown that soft substrates mimicking the elastic modulus of brain tissues (0.1~1 kPa) were neurogenic, substrates of intermediate elastic modulus mimicking muscle (8 ~17 kPa) were myogenic, and substrates with bone-like elastic modulus (25~40 kPa) were osteogenic. This work represents a novel way to regulate the fate of stem cells and exerts profound influence on stem cell research. Biomimcry also drives improvements in tissue engineering. Novel scaffolds have been designed to capture extracellular matrix-like structures, binding of ligands, sustained release of cytokines, and mechanical properties intrinsic to specific tissues for tissue engineering applications.2,3 For example, tissue engineering skin grafts have been designed to mimic the cell composition and layered structure of native skin.4 Similarly, in the field of regenerative medicine, researchers aim to create biomimetic scaffolds to mimic the properties of a native stem cell environment (niche) to dynamically interact with the entrapped stem cells and direct their response.5
The cellular and molecular mechanisms of adipose tissue biology have been studied extensively over the last two decades. Adipose tissue growth involves both an increase in fat cell size and the formation of mature adipocytes from precursor cells. To investigate how natural substances influence these two processes, we examined the effects of lotus leaf extract (Nelumbo nucifera-extract solution obtained from Silab, France) and L-carnitine on human preadipocytes and adipocytes.
For our in vitro studies, we used a lotus leaf extract solution alone or in combination with L-carnitine. Utilizing cultured human preadipocytes, we investigated lotus leaf extract solution-induced inhibition of triglyceride incorporation during adipogenesis and possible effects on cell viability. Studies on human adipocytes were performed aiming to elucidate the efficacy of lotus leaf extract solution to stimulate lipolytic activity. To further characterize lotus leaf extract solution-mediated effects, we determined the expression of the transcription factor adipocyte determination and differentiation factor 1 (ADD1/SREBP-1c) on the RNA- and protein level utilizing qRT-PCR and immunofluorescence analysis. Additionally, the effect of L-carnitine on beta-oxidation was analyzed using human preadipocytes and mature adipocytes. Finally, we investigated additive effects of a combination of lotus leaf extract solution and L-carnitine on triglyceride accumulation during preadipocyte/adipocyte differentiation.
Our data showed that incubation of preadipocytes with lotus leaf extract solution significantly decreased triglyceride accumulation during adipogenesis without affecting cell viability. Compared to controls, adipocytes incubated with lotus leaf extract solution exhibited a significant increase in lipolysis-activity. Moreover, cell populations cultivated in the presence of lotus leaf extract solution showed a decrease in adipocyte differentiation capacity as indicated by a decrease in the ADD1/SREBP-1c signal. Importantly, our results demonstrated that a combination of lotus leaf extract solution and L-carnitine reduced triglyceride accumulation to a greater extent compared to incubation with either substance alone.
Overall, our data demonstrate that a combination of lotus leaf extract and L-carnitine reduced triglyceride accumulation in human (pre)adipocytes by affecting different processes during the adipocyte life cycle. For this reason, this combination might represent a treatment option for obesity-related diseases.
Lotus nelumbo (LN) (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) is an aquatic crop that is widely distributed throughout Asia and India, and various parts of this plant are edible and medicinal. It is noteworthy that different organs of this plant are used in traditional herbal medicine or folk recipes to cure different diseases and to relieve their corresponding symptoms. The compounds that are contained in each organ, which are named based on their chemical compositions, have led to their respective usages. In this work, a strategy was used to identify the difference ingredients and screen for Nuclear-factor-kappaB (NF-κB) inhibitors with anti-inflammatory ability in LN. Seventeen main difference ingredients were compared and identified from 64 samples of 4 different organs by ultra-performance liquid chromatography that was coupled with quadrupole/time of flight mass spectrometry (UPLC/Q-TOF-MS) with principal component analysis (PCA). A luciferase reporter assay system combined with the UPLC/Q-TOF-MS information was applied to screen biologically active substances. Ten NF-κB inhibitors from Lotus plumule (LP) extracts, most of which were isoquinoline alkaloids or flavone C-glycosides, were screened. Heat map results showed that eight of these compounds were abundant in the LP. In conclusion, the LP extracts were considered to have the best anti-inflammatory ability of the four LN organs, and the chemical material basis (CMB) of this biological activity was successfully validated by multivariate statistical analysis and biological research methods.
According to recent research reports, addition of small amounts of a secondary fluid to a suspension could dramatically increase viscosity of suspension. Results of this study indicate another interesting behavior that the secondary fluid could form a thin hydrophobic membrane around particle surface and significantly decrease the viscosity and yield stress of the suspension. To enhance the surface hydrophobicity, hydrophobic nanoparticles (nano-CaCO3) were added to the hydrophobic membrane of particles to improve the surface roughness, and to generate composite particles having a hierarchical structure similar to the micromorphology of lotus leaf. This composite particle has a higher contact angle, and the suspension of composite particles has a lower viscosity and a lower yield stress.
In this preliminary study, the morphology and nanostructured features formed by the epicuticular waxes of the mottlecah (Eucalyptus macrocarpa) leaf were investigated and quantified. The surface features formed by the waxes give the leaf remarkable wetting and self-cleaning properties that enhance the plant’s survival in an arid climate. This paper also provides experimental evidence of the self-assembly properties of the epicuticular waxes. Analysis of the water contact angle measurements gave a mean static contact angle of 162.00 ± 6.10 degrees, which clearly indicated that the mottlecah’s leaf surface was superhydrophobic. Detailed field emission scanning electron microscopy examination revealed that the surface was covered by bumps approximately 20 μm in diameter and regularly spaced at a distance of around 26 μm. The bumps are capped by nanotubules/pillars with an average diameter of 280 nm at the tips. Self-cleaning experiments indicated that the mottlecah’s leaf could be effectively cleaned by a fine spray of water droplets that rolled over the surface picking up contaminants. Field emission scanning electron microscopy investigation of extracted epicuticular waxes revealed that the waxes were capable of self-reassembly and formed features similar to those of the original leaf surface. Furthermore, also reported is a simple technique for surface treating one side of a planar surface to produce a superhydrophobic surface that can be used as a planar floatation platform for microdevices.
superhydrophobic; nanopillars; epicuticular waxes; self-cleaning; floatation; micro-fluidic
This work looks at the fundamental question of how the surface mobility of drops in the composite state is related to the size scale of the roughness features of the surface. To this end, relevant literature is first reviewed and the important terms are clarified. We then describe and discuss contact and roll-off angle measurements on a set of hydrophobicized silicon post surfaces for which all parameters except for the surface size scale were held constant. It was found that a critical transition from “sticky superhydrophobic” (composite state with large contact angle hysteresis) to “truly superhydrophobic” (composite state with low hysteresis) takes place as the size of the surface features reaches 1 μm.
contact angle; hysteresis; superhydrophobic; wetting
Nelumbo nucifera, known as sacred lotus, is a well-known medicinal plant and this lotus root is commonly used as food compared to different parts of this plant. This study was conducted to investigate the antioxidant and hepatic protective effects of lotus root hot water extract with taurine supplementation in high fat diet-induced obese rats.
Thirty-two male Sprague-Dawley rats (4-week-old) were randomly divided into four groups (n=8) for 6 weeks (normal diet, N group; high fat diet, HF group; high fat diet + lotus root hot water extract, HFR group; high fat diet + lotus root hot water extract + taurine, HFRT group). Lotus root hot water extract was orally administrated (400mg/kg/day) to HFR and HFRT groups and the same amount of distilled water was orally administered to N and HF groups. Taurine was supplemented by dissolving in feed water (3% w/v).
The activities of glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase and glutamate pyruvate transaminase in serum were lower in HFR and HFRT groups compared to HF group. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substance contents in all groups fed a high fat diet were higher compared to N group. The activities of hepatic antioxidant enzymes were higher in HFR and HFRT groups compared to HF group.
These results suggest that lotus root hot water extract with taurine supplementation shows antioxidant and hepatic protective effects in high fat diet-induced obese rats.
Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) leaf has been used to treat obesity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the antiobesity and hypolipidemic effects of lotus leaf hot water extract with taurine supplementation in high fat diet-induced obese rats.
Four week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups with 8 rats in each group for a period of 6 weeks (normal diet, N group; high fat diet, HF group; high fat diet + lotus leaf hot water extract, HFL group; high fat diet + lotus leaf hot water extract + taurine, HFLT group). Lotus leaf hot water extract was orally administrated to HFL and HFLT groups and the same amount of distilled water was orally administered (400 mg/kg/day) to N and HF groups. Taurine was supplemented by dissolving in feed water (3% w/v).
The body weight gain and relative weights of epididymal and retroperitoneal adipose tissues were significantly lower in N, HFL and HFLT groups compared to HF group. HFL and HFLT groups showed lower concentrations of total cholesterol, triglyceride and low density lipoprotein cholesterol in serum. HFLT group showed higher the ratio of high density lipoprotein cholesterol/total cholesterol compared to HFL group. HFLT group showed better blood lipid profiles compared to HFL group.
Lotus leaf hot water extract with taurine supplementation showed antiobesity and hypolipidemic effects in high fat diet-induced obese rats, which was more effective than lotus leaf hot water extract alone.
This study explores how contact angle hysteresis and titling angle relate with stickiness on superhydrophobic surfaces. The result indicates that contact angle hysteresis could not be mentioned as a proper factor to evaluate the surface stickiness. By analyzing the system pinning force of droplet placed on a titled surface, we concluded that both solid fraction and surface geometric factor are the critical factors determining the surface stickiness.
The wetting properties of superhydrophobic surfaces have generated worldwide research interest. A water drop on these surfaces forms a nearly perfect spherical pearl. Superhydrophobic materials hold considerable promise for potential applications ranging from self cleaning surfaces, completely water impermeable textiles to low cost energy displacement of liquids in lab-on-chip devices. However, the dynamic modification of the liquid droplets behavior and in particular of their wetting properties on these surfaces is still a challenging issue. In this review, after a brief overview on superhydrophobic states definition, the techniques leading to the modification of wettability behavior on superhydrophobic surfaces under specific conditions: optical, magnetic, mechanical, chemical, thermal are discussed. Finally, a focus on electrowetting is made from historical phenomenon pointed out some decades ago on classical planar hydrophobic surfaces to recent breakthrough obtained on superhydrophobic surfaces.
Microfluidic; Superhydrophobic surfaces; Wettability switching; Electrowetting
The genus Nelumbo Adans. comprises two living species, N. nucifera Gaertan. (Asian lotus) and N. lutea Pers. (American lotus). A genetic linkage map is an essential resource for plant genetic studies and crop improvement but has not been generated for Nelumbo. We aimed to develop genomic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers from the genome sequence and construct two genetic maps for Nelumbo to assist genome assembly and integration of a genetic map with the genome sequence.
A total of 86,089 SSR motifs were identified from the genome sequences. Di- and tri-nucleotide repeat motifs were the most abundant, and accounted for 60.73% and 31.66% of all SSRs, respectively. AG/GA repeats constituted 51.17% of dinucleotide repeat motifs, followed by AT/TA (44.29%). Of 500 SSR primers tested, 386 (77.20%) produced scorable alleles with an average of 2.59 per primer, and 185 (37.00%) showed polymorphism among two parental genotypes, N. nucifera ‘Chinese Antique’ and N. lutea ‘AL1’, and six progenies of their F1 population. The normally segregating markers, which comprised 268 newly developed SSRs, 37 previously published SSRs and 53 sequence-related amplified polymorphism markers, were used for genetic map construction. The map for Asian lotus was 365.67 cM with 47 markers distributed in seven linkage groups. The map for American lotus was 524.51 cM, and contained 177 markers distributed in 11 genetic linkage groups. The number of markers per linkage group ranged from three to 34 with an average genetic distance of 3.97 cM between adjacent markers. Moreover, 171 SSR markers contained in linkage groups were anchored to 97 genomic DNA sequence contigs of ‘Chinese Antique’. The 97 contigs were merged into 60 scaffolds.
Genetic mapping of SSR markers derived from sequenced contigs in Nelumbo enabled the associated contigs to be anchored in the linkage map and facilitated assembly of the genome sequences of ‘Chinese Antique’. The present study reports the first construction of genetic linkage maps for Nelumbo, which can serve as reference linkage maps to accelerate characterization germplasm, genetic mapping for traits of economic interest, and molecular breeding with marker-assisted selection.
Genetic linkage map; Genome sequence; Nelumbo; SRAP; SSR
• Background and Aims Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) has been cultivated as an ornamental and food plant in Japan for more than 1000 years. As large areas are required for its cultivation (approximately 2 m2 per plant), physiological research, such as into the effect of environmental factors on dormancy, has not been well studied until recently. In this paper, seedlings were used to examine environmental factors affecting dormancy induction.
• Methods In a first experiment, seeds were sown from 6 April to 6 October at 2-month intervals, and cultivated for 2 months in an unheated greenhouse. In a second experiment, seeds were prepared for germination on 16 November and 16 May and the seedlings were grown at 25 or 30 °C under natural daylength in phytotron growth rooms. After 1 month, the seedlings were cultivated at 20, 25 or 30 °C for a further month. The number of leaves and rhizome branches on the main stem were counted, and growth of rhizomes on the main stem was calculated using a rhizome enlargement index (= maximum internode diameter/internode length) after 2 months of culture in both experiments.
• Key Results Rhizomes elongated without enlargement when the seeds were sown in April and June. Sowing the seeds in August and October resulted in rhizome enlargement from the tenth and fifth internodes, respectively. Rhizomes enlarged in the November-sowing but elongated in the May-sowing irrespective of temperature treatments under natural daylength in the phytotron rooms. The seedlings cultivated from May at 25–30 °C for 2 months had more leaves, and more rhizome branches and nodes than those cultivated from November.
• Conclusions Short days led to induced dormancy in lotus.
Dormancy; leaf production; Nelumbo nucifera; photoperiod; rhizome branching; rhizome enlargement; temperature
Some specialized aquatic snakes such as Natrix tessellata strike at fish by rapidly accelerating their head towards the prey with their mouth opened widely. This strategy is believed to be suboptimal as relatively high drag forces act on the open jaws and, therefore, probably limit strike speed. Moreover, the bow wave in front of the snake's jaws could push prey away from the mouth, thus potentially explaining the relatively low capture success observed in these animals (<20%). Here, we used laser-scan based computational fluid dynamics to test these potential constraints on prey-capture performance for N. tessellata. Our simulations showed that drag force indeed increases drastically for striking at a high gape angle. However, we estimated the overall cost in slowing down strike speed to be less pronounced due to the instationary dynamics of the system. In contrast to the expectations, forward displacement of prey was relatively limited (<13% of head length), and forceful collisions between prey and the leading edge of the jaw regularly occurred. However, our models showed that precise aiming by the snake was needed to reduce the chance of deviating the prey to a path bypassing the mouth. Our study also indicated several hydrodynamic advantages for snakes to strike at relatively large prey.
hydrodynamics; snake; prey capture; bow wave; feeding
Hydrophobicity is a very important surface property and there is a growing interest in the production and characterization of superhydrophobic surfaces. Accordingly, it was recently shown how to obtain a superhydrophobic surface using a simple and cost-effective method on a polymer named poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA). To evaluate the ability of such material as a substrate for bacterial colonization, this work assessed the capability of different bacteria to colonize a biomimetic rough superhydrophobic (SH) PLLA surface and also a smooth hydrophobic (H) one. The interaction between these surfaces and bacteria with different morphologies and cell walls was studied using one strain of Staphylococcus aureus and one of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Results showed that both bacterial strains colonized the surfaces tested, although significantly higher numbers of S. aureus cells were found on SH surfaces comparing to H ones. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy images showed an extracellular matrix produced by P. aeruginosa on SH PLLA surfaces, indicating that this bacterium is able to form a biofilm on such substratum. Bacterial removal through lotus leaf effect was also tested, being more efficient on H coupons than on SH PLLA ones. Overall, the results showed that SH PLLA surfaces can be used as a substrate for bacterial colonization and, thus, have an exceptional potential for biotechnology applications.
Poly(L-lactic acid); Superhydrophobicity; Biomimetic surfaces; Bacterial colonization substrate
Successful prey capture by aquatic suction feeders depends on the ability of the predator to generate a flow of water external to the mouth that overcomes any movements and forces that the prey uses to resist the suction flow. Elucidating the nature and magnitude of these forces is a key to understanding what limits suction feeding performance. We identify three potential forces produced by the suction flow field: drag, acceleration reaction and the fluid pressure gradient. Using a mathematical model parametrized with empirical data from feeding bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus, we explore the relative magnitude of these forces under three encounter scenarios with a 5 mm diameter, spherical prey: an immobile mid-water prey; a similar prey that executes an escape response; and a prey item that grips a substratum. Contrary to the almost exclusive emphasis on drag in the suction feeding literature, it made a minor contribution to the total forces in all three cases. In all three scenarios, the pressure gradient is the largest of the three forces. These results are important because previous researchers have emphasized drag and have not explicitly recognized a role for the pressure gradient force in suction feeding. The simulations suggest previously unrecognized mechanisms that suction feeders can use to enhance the forces that they exert, by increasing the steepness of the pressure gradient that the prey item is exposed to. This can be accomplished either by increasing the rate of increase in fluid velocity or by restricting the size of the mouth aperture, which creates a steeper spatial gradient in pressure.
suction feeding; fish feeding; fluid mechanics; prey capture strategy; fish feeding performance
Seed set is usually low and differs for different crosses of flower lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.). The reasons remain unknown, and this has a negative impact on lotus breeding. To determine the causes, we carried out two crosses of flower lotus, that is, “Jinsenianhua” × “Qinhuaihuadeng” and “Qinhuaihuadeng” × “Jinsenianhua” and pollen viability, pistil receptivity, and embryo development were investigated. The pollen grains collected at 05:00-06:00 hrs had the highest viability, and the viabilities of “Jinsenianhua” and “Qinhuaihuadeng” were 20.6 and 15.7%, respectively. At 4 h after artificial pollination, the number of pollen grains germinating on each stigma reached a peak: 63.0 and 17.2 per stigma in “Jinsenianhua” × “Qinhuaihuadeng” and “Qinhuaihuadeng” × “Jinsenianhua”, respectively. At 1 d after artificial pollination, the percentages of normal embryos in the two crosses were 55.0 and 21.9%, respectively; however, at 11 d after pollination, the corresponding percentages were 20.8 and 11.2%. Seed sets of the two crosses were 17.9 and 8.0%, respectively. The results suggested that low pistil receptivity and embryo abortion caused low seed set in “Qinhuaihuadeng” × “Jinsenianhua”, whereas low fecundity of “Jinsenianhua” × “Qinhuaihuadeng” was mainly attributable to embryo abortion.
The nascent field of biomimetic delivery with micro- and nanoparticles (MNP) has advanced considerably in recent years. Drawing inspiration from the ways that cells communicate in the body, several different modes of “delivery” (i.e. temporospatial presentation of biological signals) have been investigated in a number of therapeutic contexts. In particular, this review focuses on (1) controlled release formulations that deliver natural soluble factors with physiologically relevant temporal context, (2) presentation of surface-bound ligands to cells, with spatial organization of ligands ranging from isotropic to dynamically anisotropic, and (3) physical properties of particles, including size, shape and mechanical stiffness, which mimic those of natural cells. Importantly, the context provided by multimodal, or multifactor delivery represents a key element of most biomimetic MNP systems, a concept illustrated by an analogy to human interpersonal communication. Regulatory implications of increasingly sophisticated and “cell-like” biomimetic MNP systems are also discussed.
Biomimetic; Particulates; Controlled Release; Anisotropy; Biological Communication
A bio-inspired approach for superhydrophobic surface modification was investigated. Hydrophilic conversion of the superhydrophobic surface was easily achieved through this method, and the superhydrophobic-hydrophilic alternating surface was generated by the method combined with soft-lithography. The resulting patterned surface showed high water adhesion property in addition to superhydrophobic property.
Superhydrophobicity; Surface modification; Bio-inspired coating; Soft-lithography; High-water adhesion
Superhydrophobic and superhydrophilic properties of chemically-modified graphene have been achieved in larger-area vertically aligned few-layer graphene nanosheets (FLGs), prepared on Si (111) substrate by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD). Furthermore, in order to enhance wettability, silicon wafers with microstructures were fabricated, on which graphene nanosheets were grown and modified by a chemical method to form hydrophilic and hydrophobic structures. A superhydrophilic graphene surface (contact angle 0°) and a superhydrophobic graphene surface (contact angle 152.0°) were obtained. The results indicate that the microstructured silicon enhances the hydrophilic and hydrophobic wettabilities significantly.