Material inspired by dragonfly wings bursts bacteria

Prickly silicon could act as antimicrobial coating on medical devices

KILLER WINGS  Etched black silicon can mimic the nanoscale spikes that naturally occur on the wings of the dragonfly Diplacodes bipunctata (center). A synthetic surface with similar nanostructures, just 500 nanometers tall, can rupture bacterial cells and spores (scanning electron micrograph, lower right; computer-generated representation, upper left).

E. Ivanova et al./Nature Comm. 2013

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