Sea urchins are tough creatures. Not only does it have a sharp quill, but it can also crush shells, coral reefs, and even rocks thanks to its five razor-sharp teeth. And somehow it manages to keep its teeth sharp all the time, despite heavy use. Until now, it has been a mystery to researchers who analyzed this echinoid. However, recent studies conducted using scanning electron microscopy have shed new light on their biology. self-polishing properties. And the discovery Advanced automatic polishing tools familiar with the design innovative materials In industrial environments, mines, tunneling etc.
Horacio D. Espinosa and the rest of the team at Northwestern University in Illinois (EE. UU) studied the biting process of pink sea urchins. By using electronic microscope, they were able to assess the tear and wear each tooth endured. Videos of sea urchins chomping on anything other than diamonds show their teeth are arranged so that they are missing only one side. This means that the pressure is channeled to the opposite side of the tooth. The most resistant surfaces are made of elastic calcite fibers that form a kind of wall. On the other side, it is arranged in a brittle sloping plate that breaks when rubbed against materials such as starfish or rocks.
A sea urchin’s teeth continue to grow throughout its life, so they are always perfectly sharp.by running this technology projectEspinosa, aims to better understand and develop the properties of materials at the nanometer scale. new science and technology.
Sea urchin exploring space
This is not the first time that sea urchin teeth have inspired creations. innovative technology. Back in 2016, a team of engineers and marine biologists designed a claw-shaped device to scoop up sediment and Earth samples from other planets like Mars.this goal bio-inspired This tool was to create an alternative to traditional shovels that did not block the area around the line of sight. In a manner similar to the Espinosa study, engineers at San Diego’s Jacobs Institute of Technology used powerful imaging techniques. micro tomography (microCT) can now be used to create a 3D model of each tooth. Then I developed a device with a similar design and after a few iterations it was perfected. 3D printing repetition.
Tests of this technology project carried out on Mars-like terrain using a remotely operated rover with a “claw” yielded positive results. The researchers believe that a large number of autonomous miniature vehicles using this innovative technology could search for samples before returning to the main vehicle.
The research team behind this design has spent years studying the potential for natural structures found in seahorses, woodpeckers, puffer fish, and more.
sauce: science mug, Engadget