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.
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.
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.