Plants With Tiny Conical Hair Survive by Bioinspire

by Julia Samuel on  March 31, 2015 at 4:44 PM Environmental Health
RSS Email Print This Page Comment
Font : A-A+

Plants, mainly the ones living in arid, mountainous and humid regions, get the moisture needed for survival from mist in the leaves. But how they manage this feat has been a bit of a mystery until now.
Plants With Tiny Conical Hair Survive by Bioinspire
Plants With Tiny Conical Hair Survive by Bioinspire

A team of researchers in Japan unraveled the water collection-and-release secrets by studying the morphology and physiology of plants with tiny conical hairs or microfibers on the surface of their leaves. These variety includes tomatoes, balsam pears and the flowers Berkheya purpea and Lychnis sieboldii.

The team examined Lychnis sieboldii in detail and discovered a unique water collection and release feature. The cone-shaped hairs with inner microfibers reversibly transform to crushed plates that twist perpendicularly in dry conditions.

"We zeroed in on the microstructure of the plants via advanced electron microscope technology and recorded the dynamic changes involved in the water collection process in the form of a movie," explained Prof. Shigeru Yamanaka, Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Shinshu University. Microfibers found within the hairs appear to be responsible for both water storage and release.

The team tapped simulations to help explain the formation of the twisted structure, which they believe "adds increased mechanical strength to the hairs." Similar phenomena were found in the other plants with hairy leaves.

"Under dry conditions, the hairs also twisted in a similar manner. They converted to a cone shape, just like Lychnis sieboldii, when exposed to water droplets—suggesting that this strategy of water control is common among plants with similar hairs on their leaves' surfaces," said Yamanaka.

One day soon, the technique used by these plants, will be used to pull fresh water from the air to help alleviate global water shortages. "These plants give us great ideas worth mimicking. Advanced fiber technology can be used to replicate the plant hair's fiber net structure and enable the development of an apparatus capable of collecting water from the air in arid regions of the world," noted Yamanaka.

Source: Medindia

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

Related Links

More News on:

Hair Loss Causes of Hair Loss Hair Loss and Thinning - The Latest Treatments Hair Loss in Women Hair Loss in Men Hair Analysis Hair Restoration Hair Replacement for Women Hair Replacement for Men Silicone Hair Treatment 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

Facebook

News Category

News Archive