Leaf-inspired 3D printed microstructure could clean oceans after oil spills

Leaf-inspired 3D printed microstructure could clean oceans after oil spills

Researchers from the University of Southern California have drawn inspiration from nature for the development of materials that could help clean up oil spills. The team has used 3D printing to recreate the microstructure composition of floating fern leaves for this purpose. (Image: Forest and Kim Starr / Wikipedia) Salvinia molesta is a type of aquatic fern native to Brazil which is known for floating on water. The plant’s leaves are made up of unique protrusions which the researchers liken to eggbeater-like shapes. This structure reportedly gives the fern leaves “super-hydrophic” properties—in other words, they repel water very effectively. […]

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