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

News and information

Shining rings: A new material emits white light when exposed to electricity: New synthetic approach could spark development of other dynamic materials July 24th, 2017

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion July 23rd, 2017

The July 23 close fly-by of asteroid 2017 BS5 is explored in a Q&A with Dr. John S. Lewis, chief scientist at Deep Space Industries July 23rd, 2017

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials: All-dielectric nanophotonics: The quest for better materials and fabrication techniques July 22nd, 2017

Laboratories

Studying Argon Gas Trapped in Two-Dimensional Array of Tiny "Cages": Understanding how individual atoms enter and exit the nanoporous frameworks could help scientists design new materials for gas separation and nuclear waste remediation July 17th, 2017

News laser design offers more inexpensive multi-color output: Design can control color, intensity of light by varying cavity architecture July 11th, 2017

Argonne National Laboratory’s Continuous ALD Technology Licensed Exclusively to Forge Nano July 7th, 2017

Brookhaven Scientists Study Role of 'Electrolyte Gating' in Functional Oxide Materials July 3rd, 2017

Videos/Movies

Nanotech Advances Future Mobile Devices and Wearable Technology July 5th, 2017

ANU invention may help to protect astronauts from radiation in space July 3rd, 2017

Tiny bubbles provide tremendous propulsion in new microparticles research-Ben-Gurion U. June 21st, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion July 23rd, 2017

The first light atomic nucleus with a second face July 20th, 2017

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles July 20th, 2017

Here's a tip: Indented cement shows unique properties: Rice University models reveal nanoindentation can benefit crystals in concrete July 20th, 2017

Announcements

Shining rings: A new material emits white light when exposed to electricity: New synthetic approach could spark development of other dynamic materials July 24th, 2017

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion July 23rd, 2017

The July 23 close fly-by of asteroid 2017 BS5 is explored in a Q&A with Dr. John S. Lewis, chief scientist at Deep Space Industries July 23rd, 2017

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials: All-dielectric nanophotonics: The quest for better materials and fabrication techniques July 22nd, 2017

Military

Nanoparticles could spur better LEDs, invisibility cloaks July 19th, 2017

'Upconverted' light has a bright future: Rice University professor developing plasmon-powered devices for medicine, security, solar cells July 17th, 2017

Nature-inspired material uses liquid reinforcement: Rice U. nanoengineers create liquid-solid composites using clues from nature July 11th, 2017

Meniscus-assisted technique produces high efficiency perovskite PV films July 7th, 2017

Textiles/Clothing

Carbodeon demonstrates NanoDiamond nickel coatings with enhanced tribological properties June 7th, 2017

New ultrafast flexible and transparent memory devices could herald new era of electronics April 1st, 2017

'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

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