Diatom bionanotribology-biological surfaces in relative motion

Their design, friction, adhesion, lubrication and wear

Ille C. Gebeshuber, Herbert Stachelberger, Manfred Drack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tribology is the branch of engineering that deals with the interaction of surfaces in relative motion (as in bearings or gears): their design, friction, adhesion, lubrication and wear. Continuous miniaturization of technological devices like hard disc drives and biosensors increases the necessity for the fundamental understanding of tribological phenomena at the micro- and nanoscale. Biological systems show optimized performance also at this scale. Examples for biological friction systems at different length scales include bacterial flagella, joints, articular cartilage and muscle connective tissues. 1 Scanning probe microscopy opened the nanocosmos to engineers: not only is microscopy now possible on the atomic scale, but even manipulation of single atoms and molecules can be performed with unprecedented precision. As opposed to this top-down approach, biological systems excel in bottom-up nanotechnology. Our model system for bionanotribological investigations are diatoms, for they are small, highly reproductive, and since they are transparent, they are accessible with different kinds of optical microscopy methods. Furthermore, certain diatoms have proved to be rewarding samples for mechanical and topological in vivo investigations on the nanoscale. 2 There are several diatom species that actively move (e.g. Bacillaria paxillifer forms colonies in which the single cells slide against each other) or which can, as cell colonies, be elongated by as much as a major fraction of their original length (e.g. Ellerbeckia arenaria colonies can be reversibly elongated by one third of their original length). Therefore, we assume that some sort of lubrication of interactive surfaces is present in these species. Current studies in diatom bionanotribology comprise techniques like atomic force microscopy, histochemical analysis, infrared spectrometry, molecular spectroscopy and confocal infrared microscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Lubrication
Diatoms
Friction
Biological systems
Microscopic examination
Bearings (structural)
Adhesion
Molecular spectroscopy
Wear of materials
Infrared radiation
Scanning probe microscopy
Hard disk storage
Tribology
Cartilage
Nanotechnology
Biosensors
Spectrometry
Optical microscopy
Muscle
Gears

Keywords

  • Biomimetics
  • Bionanotribology
  • Diatoms
  • Environmentally Friendly Materials
  • Friction
  • Lubrication
  • Nanotribology
  • Natural Adhesives
  • Natural Lubricants
  • Renewable Resources
  • Tribology
  • Wear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Diatom bionanotribology-biological surfaces in relative motion : Their design, friction, adhesion, lubrication and wear. / Gebeshuber, Ille C.; Stachelberger, Herbert; Drack, Manfred.

In: Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2005, p. 79-87.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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