Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Researchers reveal Eucalyptus' nano properties

Abstract:
Murdoch University nano scientists have discovered that a eucalyptus plant native to south west WA has unique self-cleaning and water-repellent properties which could make it a gold mine for new nanotechnology applications.

Researchers reveal Eucalyptus' nano properties

Murdoch, Australia | Posted on October 31st, 2011

The Mottlecah, which is also known as The Rose of the West for its large spectacular flowers, has silvery leaves which are covered in a wax which produces nano-sized bumps and pillars. This causes water to form droplets that roll over the surface of the leaves and fall towards the root system of the plant, picking up any dirt along the way.

These properties, which are known as superhydrophobic and self-cleaning, are similar to the lotus plant's which has inspired a range of self-cleaning and anti-bacterial technologies currently being developed.

Dr Gerrard Eddy Jai Poinern and his team at the Murdoch Applied Nanotechnology Research Group say their discovery has the potential to be applied in a variety of ways, from so-called lab-on-a-chip settings in medical research, to the treatment of ships' hulls to help prevent the build up of harmful microorganisms, plants and animals.

"I had noticed these incredible plants on the Murdoch campus because of the unusual appearance of their leaves," said Dr Poinern, who is based at the School of Engineering and Energy. "They made me wonder whether the plant had superhydrophobic properties and so began our research investigation.

"One of the experiments we carried out was to coat the leaf with carbon black toner from a laser printer cartridge and then observe how the rolling drops of water were able to completely clean the surface of the leaf.

"This was because the surface features formed by this Eucalyptus' waxes gave the leaves remarkable wetting and self-cleaning properties. We believe this enhances the plant's survival in an arid climate because it is able to source and effectively manage its water usage through channelling any water to its roots.

"In this way the Mottlecah is unusual because most superhydrophobic plants are usually found in aquatic settings."

Dr Poinern and his team also extracted waxes from the leaves and found that they were capable of self-reassembly. When coated on laboratory glass slides, the wax formed features which mimicked the complex three-dimensional geometry of the nano-sized bumps and pillars found on the original leaf surface, making the slide superhydrophobic.

"It was fairly easy and inexpensive to extract the wax from the leaves and yet the wax still had these remarkable qualities," said Dr Poinern. "When the tested glass slides were placed horizontally onto a water surface, the added buoyancy support of the wax meant that it was able to carry a greater load than the uncoated slides.

"In microfluidic devices used in advanced medical research and disease testing, such coatings could help to maintain the sterility of devices which need to be used over and over again.

"In fact there are a number of potential applications and we are sure there are other WA native plants which have similar properties. We hope to continue our research to find out more about these properties and how they can be fully utilised."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Val McFarlane
+61 (08) 9360-2491

Copyright © Murdoch University

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 News Press

News and information

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible May 29th, 2017

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Microfluidics/Nanofluidics

Using light to propel water : With new method, MIT engineers can control and separate fluids on a surface using only visible light April 25th, 2017

Nano-SPEARs gently measure electrical signals in small animals: Rice University's tiny needles simplify data gathering to probe diseases, test drugs April 17th, 2017

Particle Works creates range of high performance quantum dots February 23rd, 2017

DNA 'barcoding' allows rapid testing of nanoparticles for therapeutic delivery February 7th, 2017

Nanomedicine

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Discoveries

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible May 29th, 2017

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Materials/Metamaterials

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Stanford scientists use nanotechnology to boost the performance of key industrial catalyst May 18th, 2017

Self-healing tech charges up performance for silicon-containing battery anodes May 15th, 2017

Discovery of new transparent thin film material could improve electronics and solar cells: Conductivity is highest-ever for thin film oxide semiconductor material May 6th, 2017

Announcements

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible May 29th, 2017

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials May 17th, 2017

The brighter side of twisted polymers: Conjugated polymers designed with a twist produce tiny, brightly fluorescent particles with broad applications May 16th, 2017

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