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Mimicking the nature: Directional water collection on wetted spider silk

Twinkling water beads on a sunny morning is a beautiful sight for our eyes. Thanks
to the unique micro and nano-scale structural features on the spider silk, it is
capable of collect water from air, which would bead up.
Inspired by the water-collecting ability
of the natural biomaterials including the
capture silk of the cribellate spider
Uloborus walckenaerius, researchers in
Beijing have produced artificial fibres
that mimic the structural features of silk
with directional water-collecting ability.

They have reported that these artificial
fibers exhibit similar properties of
spider silk. Potential applications for
these artificial fibers include liquid
aerosol filtering, smart catalysis and
microfluidics.
Reference: Zheng, Y. Bai, H., Huang, Z., Tian, X., Nie, F.-Q., Zhao, Y., Zhai, J. & Jiang, L.
Nature 463, 640 (2010).
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