Tiny combs inspired by spiders could untangle nanofibers and enhance application
Nanofibers are about 100 times smaller in diameter than a human hair. Their minuscule dimensions alone make them difficult to manipulate. Add to that their tendency to 'stick' to other materials and handling them becomes a nightmare, impeding development of the wealth of applications they promise. Nature has endowed a quirky little spider with a row of leg bristles like a miniature comb that the spider uses to comb out the strands of silk it produces. BioCombs4Nanofibers plans to develop a way to mimic this system on a man-made surface. Its careful characterisation could lead to novel nanotools that are anti-adhesive when it comes to nanofibers, opening the door to easier nanofiber processing and a myriad of nanofiber applications.
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