Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > UCR, Aarhus University Joint Research Project Provides Gripping Results

An individual sucker ring from the Humbolt squid. The triangular dentitions, ready to pierce the skin of prey, are clearly seen at the top of the ring.
An individual sucker ring from the Humbolt squid. The triangular dentitions, ready to pierce the skin of prey, are clearly seen at the top of the ring.

Abstract:
Study reveals that squid sucker rings, made of protein and nanostructured, could have significant implications in commercialization if replicated.

UCR, Aarhus University Joint Research Project Provides Gripping Results

Riverside, CA | Posted on February 3rd, 2009

A chance encounter with a Humboldt squid on a fishing trip left quite an impression on James Weaver, a research associate at UCR's Bourns College of Engineering. In fact, the lasting impression also provided the impetus for further research conducted by an interdisciplinary team from several institutions and headed by Professor Henrik Birkedal of the Department of Chemistry and the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center, Aarhus University, Denmark, and Professor David Kisailus of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering in the Bourns College of Engineering.

The idea for studying the architectural and mechanical properties of these structures originated on a trip to collect research specimens in Ventura, Calif., aboard a sport fishing boat

"While removing a hook from one of the meter-long squids, its tentacles wrapped tightly around my arm and inflicted significant damage as I tried to free myself," said Weaver. "The sheer damage that these structures were capable of inflicting intrigued me greatly."

The large, aggressive predatory Humboldt squid, Dosidicus gigas, grips onto prey with a set of suckers that line its tentacles. Each of these suckers contains a rigid disc lined with formidable triangular teeth that significantly increase their gripping power during prey capture and handling. Researchers are now surprised to find that these sucker rings are nanostructured and made entirely of protein. This research is reported as the cover story in the Jan. 26, 2009 issue of Advanced Materials.

In addition to Birkedal, Kisailus and Weaver, the paper was authored by Ali Miserez (University of California, Santa Barbara), Peter B. Pedersen (Aarhus University, Denmark), Todd Schneeberk (University of California, Santa Barbara), and Roger T. Hanlon (Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass.). The research team spans the fields of chemistry, marine biology, molecular biology and materials science. Only with this interdisciplinary team was the group able to glean the secrets of the grip of this impressive beast.

"The exciting part of this research from an engineering perspective is that we can now begin to design a myriad of multifunctional materials with applications for automotive, aerospace, sports, and medical industries," Kisailus said.

Because of the unique properties of these structures, a special set of analytical tools was required for investigating their composition.

"The techniques used in this study are rather different than those used for investigating other hard tissues or even engineering materials because we are dealing with a wholly organic biological structure, said Ali Miserez from the Materials Department and the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, UC Santa Barbara and the article's lead author.

The first surprise that gripped the research team was that the sucker rings contained a network of nano-porous channels that were oriented parallel to the long axis of the teeth. These channels are between 100 - 250nm in diameter, increasing from the outer surface to the inner core of each tooth.

"This unique organization results in a material that is abrasion-resistant on the exterior, while maintaining a flexible core," Birkedal said. "This is accomplished solely by altering the local pore fraction, without significantly changing the composition of the material from which the sucker rings are constructed."

The sucker rings have long been assumed to be made of the sugar-based polymer chitin that comprises the beak of the Humboldt squid and is a common structural material in invertebrates such as arthropods and other mollusks. It was therefore surprising that the researchers could not find any trace of chitin, but instead discovered that the sucker rings are likely held together primarily by hydrophobic and hydrogen bonds.

UCR's Kisailus and Weaver are also currently working with General Motors Research & Development headquartered in Warren, Mich., on research involving the inner pearly layer (nacre) of the abalone shell with the goal of replicating its unique properties in man-made materials.

"A primary focus of our Biomimetic and Nanostructured Materials Lab is to understand fundamental structure-function relationships in biological structures so that we can develop light-weight and tough synthetic materials that could be used for aerospace, automotive and medical applications," Kisailus said. "The resulting multifunctional materials could be produced at significantly lower processing costs and under environmentally benign conditions while maintaining their unique architectures and mechanical properties."

Birkedal's laboratory in Aarhus Denmark focuses on biological materials and bio-inspired materials chemistry.

"Nature excels at integrating nanomaterials into functional three-dimensional hierarchical structures, like miniature Eiffel Towers. This type of integration can lead to completely new materials," said Birkedal. "Therefore we study materials from biology in our laboratory to derive inspiration for new types of synthetic functional materials. Understanding structure at several length scales, from the molecule to the centimeter, is a major challenge and one of the key objectives in our research."

Kisailus added, "Based upon our latest findings from Dosidicus that demonstrated tough materials can be synthesized from purely organic, non-crystalline materials, we have now opened the door to new and exciting opportunities in engineering materials design and synthesis."

####

About UC Riverside
The University of California, Riverside is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment of about 17,000 is expected to grow to 21,000 students by 2020. The campus is planning a medical school and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Graduate Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Todd Ransom
Phone: (951) 827-1287

Copyright © University of California, Riverside

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Bourns College of Engineering

Watch David Kisailus Video

Related News Press

News and information

Dr Barbara Armbruster promoted to Worldwide Sales and Marketing Director for XEI Scientific September 27th, 2016

Fighting cancer with sticky nanoparticles September 27th, 2016

Gold nanoparticles conjugated quercetin inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis and invasiveness via EGFR/VEGFR-2 mediated pathway in breast cancer September 27th, 2016

UNAM develops successful nano edible coating which increases life food September 27th, 2016

Videos/Movies

NIST illuminates transfer of nanoscale motion through microscale machine September 14th, 2016

New material to revolutionize water proofing September 12th, 2016

Bringing graphene speakers to the mobile market (video) September 12th, 2016

3-D graphene has promise for bio applications: Rice University-led team welds nanoscale sheets to form tough, porous material September 7th, 2016

Discoveries

Fighting cancer with sticky nanoparticles September 27th, 2016

Gold nanoparticles conjugated quercetin inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis and invasiveness via EGFR/VEGFR-2 mediated pathway in breast cancer September 27th, 2016

UNAM develops successful nano edible coating which increases life food September 27th, 2016

Crystalline Fault Lines Provide Pathway for Solar Cell Current: New tomographic AFM imaging technique reveals that microstructural defects, generally thought to be detrimental, actually improve conductivity in cadmium telluride solar cells September 26th, 2016

Announcements

Dr Barbara Armbruster promoted to Worldwide Sales and Marketing Director for XEI Scientific September 27th, 2016

Fighting cancer with sticky nanoparticles September 27th, 2016

Gold nanoparticles conjugated quercetin inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis and invasiveness via EGFR/VEGFR-2 mediated pathway in breast cancer September 27th, 2016

UNAM develops successful nano edible coating which increases life food September 27th, 2016

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

PHENOMEN is a FET-Open Research Project aiming to lay the foundations a new information technology September 19th, 2016

SEMI and MSIG Join Together in Strategic Association Partnership: MEMS & Sensors Industry Group Brings New MEMS and Sensors Community to SEMI to Increase Combined Member Value September 15th, 2016

Leti and Oberthur Technologies Partner to Explore New Solutions in Fast-growing Digital Era September 12th, 2016

Synopsys Joins GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ FDXcelerator Partner Program to Enable Innovative Designs Using the FD-SOI Process: Program Gives Synopsys Access to GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ FDX Portfolio and Provides Customers with Tools that Support the Differentiated Features of FD-SOI September 8th, 2016

Research partnerships

Crystalline Fault Lines Provide Pathway for Solar Cell Current: New tomographic AFM imaging technique reveals that microstructural defects, generally thought to be detrimental, actually improve conductivity in cadmium telluride solar cells September 26th, 2016

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

Graphene nanoribbons show promise for healing spinal injuries: Rice University scientists develop Texas-PEG to help knit severed, damaged spinal cords September 19th, 2016

NIST Patents Single-Photon Detector for Potential Encryption and Sensing Apps September 16th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic