American Council on Science and Health : 2/06/2017
Summary: This article looks at the reasons why dragonfly wings are so good at killing microbes. The study has brought into question why micro pili are effective against bacteria. Previous thinking was that it acted like a bed of nails of equal height and the membrane was punctured on the nails. New research shows that pili heights are non consistent and that their membranes are actually torn open by their own extracellular proteins getting caught and tearing the membrane. The researchers hope to apply this knowledge to create more efficient antimicrobial surfaces.
Connections: This relates to our discussion of biofilms. this technology demonstrates a way of inhibiting biofilms from forming by taking advantage of their own tendencies and extracellular structure.
Analysis: i find the story very interesting. The implications of creating a surface immune to biofilms that can be created relatively cheaply with 3d printing could revolutionize any number of fields. The study does need to use with a variety of bacteria still to prove its effectiveness but the work done with E. coli seems to very well done with a control and repeated examples of the tearing:
Question: Would this have the same effect on eukaryotic cells or would the increased scale counteract the effect of the micropili