Sharklet Antibacterial Armour

Sharklet Antibacterial Armour

Sharklet antibacterial armour is a great example of science and technology inspired by nature.

Sharks are the world’s largest fish, primarily thought of as fierce aquatic predators. In contrast to other large marine animals, sharks are resistant to fouling organisms in the water including algae and barnacles. Nanoscopic diamond-shaped scales called dermal denticles cover shark’s skin. Dermal denticles help water to flow smoothly over the shark’s skin and reduce friction. Additionally, help sharks to swim quickly and quietly.

Sharklet antibacterial denticles
Shark Denticles. Image: Jorge Ceballos & Erin Dillon.
SEM (Scanning electron microscope) images of shark dermal denticles from left to right: 1) a blacknose shark (Carcharhinus acronotus), 2) a scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) and 3) a nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum). All the denticles were isolated from pieces of skin excised from preserved museum specimens. Scale bar = 100µm.


Sharklet Technologies manufactures nano-scale textures that inhibit bacterial growth. Their products mimic shark skin patterns on a surface structure to create thin films placed on product surfaces. Everything from door handles, railings, high traffic hospital surfaces, catheters, endotracheal tubes and pacemaker.

Sharklet biomimicry
On the left is an image of a shark skin denticle. On the right is the Sharklet micropattern. Note the similarities in design – diamond pattern and ordered feature lengths. Source: Sharklet | what is biomimicry.

Furthermore, this technology follows the principles of surface energy. For instance, water interaction on a material surface through beads of rain on a waxed car.

Sharklet antibacterial has the potential to repel microbial activity without toxic additives, chemicals, or the use of antibiotics or antimicrobial.

Sharklet antibacterial
Representative SEM images of Staphylococcus aureus on PDMSe surfaces over the course of 21 days areas of bacteria highlighted with colour to enhance contrast. On the left are smooth PDMSe surfaces and the right column shows Sharklet AF™ PDMSe surfaces. A and B day 0, C and D day 2, E and F day 7, G and H day 14, and I and J day 21. From Chung et al. (Biointerphases, 2007, 2(2):89-94)

In the future, this technology has the potential to harness frequent clogging, excessive blood clotting and poor healing interactions.

Feature Image:

Sharklet antibacterial
Shark. Image: Holger Wulschlaeger | Pexels.


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This Post Has 4 Comments

    1. admin

      Thank you Brianopefs.

    1. admin

      Thank you James.

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