Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > The Ultimate Camo: Team to mimic camouflage skill of marine animals in high-tech materials

Hanlon and Mathger: MBL Senior Scientist Roger Hanlon and Assistant Research Scientist Lydia Mäthger test the ability of a cuttlefish to adapt to a disruptive background pattern. Photo by T. Kleindinst.
Hanlon and Mathger: MBL Senior Scientist Roger Hanlon and Assistant Research Scientist Lydia Mäthger test the ability of a cuttlefish to adapt to a disruptive background pattern. Photo by T. Kleindinst.

Abstract:
Camouflage expert Roger Hanlon of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is co-recipient of a $6 million grant from the Office of Naval Research to study and ultimately emulate the exquisite ability of some marine animals to instantly change their skin color and pattern to blend into their environment.

The Ultimate Camo: Team to mimic camouflage skill of marine animals in high-tech materials

Woods Hole, MA | Posted on April 28th, 2011

Hanlon, who has spent more than three decades studying the camouflage artistry of squid, octopus, and cuttlefish (a class of animals known as the cephalopods), is collaborating with materials scientists and nanotechnologists at Rice University toward the goal of developing materials that can mimic cephalopod camouflage.

"Our internal name for this project is ‘squid skin,' but it is really about fundamental research," says Naomi Halas, an expert in nano-optics at Rice University and the principal investigator on the four-year grant. "Our deliverable is knowledge, the basic discoveries that will allow us to make materials that are observant, adaptive, and responsive to their environment."

In 2008, Hanlon and MBL colleagues Lydia Mäthger and Steven Roberts discovered that cephalopod skin contains opsins, the same type of light-sensing proteins that function in the eyes.

"This project will enable us to explore an exciting new avenue of vision research - distributed light sensing throughout the skin," Hanlon says. "How and where that visual information is used by the nervous system is likely to uncover some novel neural circuitry."

Hanlon and his team will perform experiments with cephalopods to determine how opsin molecules receive light and aid the animal's visual system in adjusting skin patterns for communication and camouflage. A wide range of techniques will be used to accomplish these aims. The MBL team, which includes scientists Mäthger and Alan Kuzurian, will be collaborating with marine biologist Thomas Cronin of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, on these investigations.

"This is inherently a multidisciplinary problem," Halas says. "What can we, as engineers, learn from the way these animals perceive light and color?" The project team's engineers will focus on emulating cephalopod skin using new metamaterials—materials that blur the line between material and machine.

####

About The Marine Biological Laboratory
The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. Founded in 1888 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the MBL is an independent, nonprofit corporation.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Diana Kenney
MBL
508-289-7139


Jade Boyd
Rice University
713-348-6778

Copyright © The Marine Biological Laboratory

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

Mäthger, L.M., Roberts, S. and Hanlon, R.T. 2010. Evidence for distributed light sensing in the skin of cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis. Biology Letters 6: 600-603. (PDF)

Mäthger, L.M., Denton, E.J., Marshall, J. and Hanlon, R.T. 2009. Mechanisms and behavioral functions of structural coloration in cephalopods. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 6: S149-S164. (PDF)

Sutherland, R. L., Mäthger, L. M., Hanlon, R. T., Urbas, A. M., Stone, M. O. 2008. Cephalopod coloration model. I. Squid chromatophores and iridophores. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 25 (3): 588-599. (PDF)

Mäthger, L.M., and Hanlon, R.T. 2007. Malleable skin coloration in cephalopods: selective reflectance, transmission and absorbance of light by chromatophores and iridophores. Cell and Tissue Research 329: 179-186. (PDF)

Watch the video.

Related News Press

Laboratories

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Chemistry on the edge: Experiments at Berkeley Lab confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function January 13th, 2017

Recreating conditions inside stars with compact lasers: Scientists offer a new path to creating the extreme conditions found in stars, using ultra-short laser pulses irradiating nanowires January 12th, 2017

News and information

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Manchester scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved January 13th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

Videos/Movies

Manchester scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved January 13th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Chemistry on the edge: Experiments at Berkeley Lab confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function January 13th, 2017

Recreating conditions inside stars with compact lasers: Scientists offer a new path to creating the extreme conditions found in stars, using ultra-short laser pulses irradiating nanowires January 12th, 2017

New laser based on unusual physics phenomenon could improve telecommunications, computing January 12th, 2017

Announcements

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

NUS researchers achieve major breakthrough in flexible electronics: New classes of printable electrically conducting polymer materials make better electrodes for plastic electronics and advanced semiconductor devices January 14th, 2017

Nanoscale Modifications can be used to Engineer Electrical Contacts for Nanodevices January 13th, 2017

Military

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Manchester scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved January 13th, 2017

Deciphering the beetle exoskeleton with nanomechanics: Understanding exoskeletons could lead to new, improved artificial materials January 12th, 2017

New laser based on unusual physics phenomenon could improve telecommunications, computing January 12th, 2017

Textiles/Clothing

'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 2016

Engineers develop new magnetic ink to print self-healing devices that heal in record time November 7th, 2016

Stretchy supercapacitors power wearable electronics August 25th, 2016

Weird, water-oozing material could help quench thirst: Nanorods' behavior first theorized 20 years ago, but not seen until now June 13th, 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