Removal mechanisms of dew via self-propulsion off the gecko skin

Watson, Gregory S., Schwarzkopf, Lin, Cribb, Bronwen W., Myhra, Sverre, Gellender, Marty and Watson, Jolanta A. (2015) Removal mechanisms of dew via self-propulsion off the gecko skin. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 12 105: . doi:10.1098/rsif.2014.1396

Author Watson, Gregory S.
Schwarzkopf, Lin
Cribb, Bronwen W.
Myhra, Sverre
Gellender, Marty
Watson, Jolanta A.
Title Removal mechanisms of dew via self-propulsion off the gecko skin
Journal name Journal of the Royal Society Interface   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1742-5662
Publication date 2015-04
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rsif.2014.1396
Open Access Status
Volume 12
Issue 105
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Royal Society of London
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Condensation resulting in the formation of water films or droplets is an unavoidable process on the cuticle or skin of many organisms. This process generally occurs under humid conditions when the temperature drops below the dew point. In this study, we have investigated dew conditions on the skin of the gecko Lucasium steindachneri. When condensation occurs, we show that small dew drops, as opposed to a thin film, form on the lizard's scales. As the droplets grow in size and merge, they can undergo self-propulsion off the skin and in the process can be carried away a sufficient distance to freely engage with external forces. We show that factors such as gravity, wind and fog provide mechanisms to remove these small droplets off the gecko skin surface. The formation of small droplets and subsequent removal from the skin may aid in reducing microbial contact (e.g. bacteria, fungi) and limit conducive growth conditions under humid environments. As well as providing an inhospitable microclimate for microorganisms, the formation and removal of small droplets may also potentially aid in other areas such as reduction and cleaning of some surface contaminants consisting of single or multiple aggregates of particles.
Keyword Lizard
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Biological Sciences Publications
Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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