23 March 2011 Sandfish inspires engineering
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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.
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Konrad Staudt, Konrad Staudt, Friederike Saxe, Friederike Saxe, Heiko Schmied, Heiko Schmied, Wolfgang Böhme, Wolfgang Böhme, Werner Baumgartner, Werner Baumgartner, } "Sandfish inspires engineering", Proc. SPIE 7975, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication, 79751B (23 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.888842; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.888842
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