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Proceedings Paper

Sandfish inspires engineering
Author(s): Konrad Staudt; Friederike Saxe; Heiko Schmied; Wolfgang Böhme; Werner Baumgartner
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Paper Abstract

The sandfish (Scincidae: Scincus scincus) is a lizard having the remarkable ability to move through desert sand in a swimming-like fashion. The most outstanding adaptation to its subterranean life is the epidermis that shows low friction behaviour and extensive abrasion resistance against sand, outperforming even steel. The skin consists of glycosylated keratins, which were found to be absolutely necessary for the described phenomenon. Here we discuss the function of serrated microstructures found upon dorsal scales of the sandfish by comparing them with a closely related, non-sandswimming skink (Scincopus fasciatus) and resin replicas. Furthermore, we investigated further functions of these serrations, like infrared- and moisture harvesting and the prevention of triboelectric charges. We further provide a pathway towards exploitation the sandfish's skin abilities for future engineering applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 March 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7975, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication, 79751B (23 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.888842
Show Author Affiliations
Konrad Staudt, RWTH Aachen Univ. (Germany)
Friederike Saxe, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (Germany)
Heiko Schmied, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Univ. Bonn (Germany)
Wolfgang Böhme, Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig (Germany)
Werner Baumgartner, RWTH Aachen Univ. (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7975:
Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication
Raúl J. Martín-Palma; Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Editor(s)

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