twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives
NCMA Algae Tips
Click here for more information about Liqofluxphenometrics515R1
Visit cricatalyst.com!Commercial Algae Professionals

Research

Researching the enormous strength of diatoms

February 10, 2016
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Diatoms have the highest specific strength of any known biological material, including bone, antlers, and teeth.

Diatoms have the highest specific strength of any known biological material, including bone, antlers, and teeth.

Lori Dajose writes in PhysOrg that researchers in the lab of Julia Greer, professor of materials science and mechanics in Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science, have recently found that diatoms have the highest specific strength — the strength at which a structure breaks with respect to its density — of any known biological material, including bone, antlers, and teeth. The findings were published in the February 9 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Diatoms are single-celled algae organisms, around 30 to 100 millionths of a meter in diameter, ubiquitous throughout the oceans, and encased within a hard shell made of silica. The shell, or frustule, of a diatom is porous, perforated by a honeycomb-like pattern of holes.

There are several theories about the function of these intricate shell designs, including that they evolved to control fluid flow, for example, or to help the organisms acquire nutrients. Dr. Greer and her group propose that the holes also act as stress concentrators — “flaws” in the material that can suppress the propagation of cracks, which would lead to failure of the entire organism.

“Silica is a strong but brittle material. For example, when you drop a piece of glass, it shatters,” says Dr. Greer. “But architecting this material into the complex design of these diatom shells actually creates a structure that is resilient against damage. The presence of the holes delocalizes the concentrations of stress on the structure.”

The group plans to use design principles from diatoms to create resilient, bio-inspired artificial structures.

Read More

More Like This…

HOME A.I.M. Archives

Copyright ©2010-2016 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Fort Myers, FL-based Algenol has announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved fuels made from Algenol’s process as an advanced biofuel, meet...
A U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Biomass Energy Technologies Office (BETO) project, awarded to Cal Poly (California Polytechnic State University) in collaboration with M...
Don Willmott writes in Huffington Post about Nevada-based Algae Systems, which has built a test plant on Alabama's Mobile Bay to not only turn algae into diesel fuel but ...
Hammenhög, Sweden-based agribusiness Simris Alg has announced the launch of its first consumer products. The algae farmers’ exclusive omega-3 supplements and superfoods w...
The vision of developing a community college degree program to train a high technology algae workforce was launched at New Mexico's Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) in 2...
Astaxanthin has been widely used in the aquaculture industry for pigmentation of salmon, trout and shrimp; used for its antioxidant and other health benefits in the nutra...
Sarah Zhang writes in Wired Magazine that the single-cell green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii have an eyespot that makes use of light-sensitive proteins. One of them is...
I’m an aquanaut teen. I was born in immersion in 2050 in an underwater farm called “Aequorea” off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Bio-inspired, the farm draws its name from ...
Nevele, Belgium-based TomAlgae is developing freeze-dried microalgae for feed in shrimp hatcheries. The company has created its own microalgal “cultivar” and manufactures...
In a radical pivot, algal fuel pioneer Solazyme Inc. will be changing its name to TerraVia™ to reflect a new focus on food, nutrition and specialty ingredients. A pioneer...
The last post positioned algae solutions for bioremediation of poisoned water and soil that can reduce the risk of arsenic exposure and the onset of autism spectrum disor...
If we built a Green Friendship Bridge composed of 8,600 algae microfarms given to Mexican and Central American farmers in lieu of 1%, (13 miles) of additional border wall...