The role of micro/nano channel structuring in repelling water on cuticle arrays of the lacewing

Watson, Gregory Shaun, Cribb, Bronwen W. and Watson, Jolanta Anna (2010) The role of micro/nano channel structuring in repelling water on cuticle arrays of the lacewing. Journal of Structural Biology, 171 1: 44-51. doi:10.1016/j.jsb.2010.03.008

Author Watson, Gregory Shaun
Cribb, Bronwen W.
Watson, Jolanta Anna
Title The role of micro/nano channel structuring in repelling water on cuticle arrays of the lacewing
Journal name Journal of Structural Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1047-8477
Publication date 2010-07
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jsb.2010.03.008
Volume 171
Issue 1
Start page 44
End page 51
Total pages 8
Place of publication United States
Publisher Academic Press
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject C1
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
060808 Invertebrate Biology
Abstract Non-wetting surfaces help in the survival of terrestrial and semi-aquatic insects. Some insects encounter wetting by rain, through contact with water collected on foliage, or in ponds, rivers or streams. There is an evolutionary pay-off for such insects to adopt hydrophobic structuring especially on regions that contact water, such as legs or large surface areas such as wings. Here we investigate lacewings which are good candidates for getting trapped to water because of a large wing surface area-to-body mass ratio. The lacewing utilises a variety of structures/mechanisms to contend with water contact. The first level involves small hairs (macrotrichia) that project from veins on the wings and collectively hold up droplets of water above the wing surface. This defence against wetting is aided by longitudinal ridges and troughs along the hair shaft. We show, by coating single hairs with a hydrophobic polymer (similar in hydrophobicity to insect cuticle), that the channels significantly contribute to repel water droplets. Beneath the array of hairs lies a dense netting on the cuticle wing surface which reduces contact with smaller droplets. The study has implications for both insect biology and biomimetic surfaces such as light weight superhydrophobic materials.
Keyword Lacewing
Atomic force microscopy
Micro/nano structures
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 04 Jul 2010, 00:03:00 EST