How cephalopods can inspire new technologies

Postdocs Lasanthi Sumathirathne and Taehwan Kim, PhD. student Duncan Q. Bower, and assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology Leila Deravi have published a paper detailing how cephalopods’ unique, natural sensors—which enable “structural changes to impart color changes through biochemical and optoelectronic controls”—have already inspired, and may continue to inspire, technological advances.

In considering future employments, the authors note that”most cephalopod-inspired systems historically focus on replicating the fast and adaptive color-changing features of the animals using external stimuli like temperature, pressure [and] voltage,” but there remain less-utilized aspects of these animals.

“For example, cephalopods have complex eyes with excellent vision, as well as sensitive hair cells that detect vibrations and changes in water pressure,” they write. “Understanding the structure/function of these systems could provide a fascinating source of inspiration for the development of new types of sensors.”

The sensors the authors describe “could have a wide range of applications, from environmental monitoring to medical diagnostics.”

Read “Cephalopods as a Natural Sensor-Display Feedback System Inspiring Adaptive Technologies” at ECS Sensors Plus.

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