The Kid Should See This

Mimicking shark skin to combat superbugs

In 2001, materials scientist Dr. Anthony Brennan observed that Galapagos Sharks are barnacle and algae-free due to the micro-topography of their skin. These diamond pattern nanoridges also make it difficult for bacteria — including antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” — to attach and survive. With that in mind, Brennan’s company reproduced the antibacterial texture as a film that could be applied to high-touch surfaces like hospital doorknobs, buttons, and handrails. (It seems like an excellent idea for public transportation, too.)

Biomimicry, the process of observing nature and then designing materials, structures, and systems based on that observation, is a great way to innovate and solve problems like this one. This is Using Shark Skin to Fight Against Bacteria, another smart episode from Wired’s Think Like a Tree series, narrated by biomimicry pioneer Janine Benyus.

ICYMI: What can we learn from the oak trees that survived Hurricane Katrina? Plus, more sharks, more about health, and more biomimicry videos on this site.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

How a kingfisher, an owl, & a penguin helped redesign Japan’s Shinkansen

Rion Nakaya

Almost-invisible hydrogel robots that can grab quickly

Rion Nakaya

The Sticky Feet of Ants & Cockroaches – Cambridge Ideas

Rion Nakaya

Don’t Wash Your Jeans

Rion Nakaya

The Gathering Swarms: Sardine Run off the coast of South Africa

Rion Nakaya

Zoom into a Blue Morpho Butterfly

Rion Nakaya

Swimming with the whale sharks of Isla Mujeres

Rion Nakaya

Paper Towel vs Hand Dryers – AsapSCIENCE

Rion Nakaya

Below a scalloped hammerhead shark swarm at Darwin’s Arch

Rion Nakaya

Get smart curated videos delivered every week.    
Subscribe