Diatom biotribology

I. C. Gebeshuber, H. Stachelberger, M. Drack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Organisms experience friction and wear. They have optimized lubrication systems, since Nature is an 'engineering office' which has been 'in business' for millions of years. Examples for biological friction systems at different length scales are bacterial flagellae, joints and articular cartilage as well as muscle connective tissues. The aim of biotribology is to gather information about friction, adhesion, lubrication and wear of biological systems and to apply this knowledge to innovate technology, with the additional benefit of environmental soundness. Our model system for biomicro- and -nanotribological investigations are diatoms. Diatoms are single celled microalgae with a cell wall consisting of amorphous glass enveloped by an organic layer. Diatoms are small, highly reproductive, and accessible with different kinds of microscopy methods. There are several diatom species which actively move (e.g. Bacillaria paxillifer forms colonies of 20 to 50 cells which rhythmically expand and contract) or which can - as cell colonies - reversibly be elongated by a major fraction of their original length (e.g. by one third in Ellerbeckia arenaria colonies). Diatoms also seem to show highly efficient self lubrication while cells divide and grow. These algae might be pursuing lubrication strategies which are still unknown to engineers!

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-370
Number of pages6
JournalTribology and Interface Engineering Series
Volume48
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

algae
Lubrication
Friction
friction
Wear of materials
lubrication
Cartilage
self lubrication
lubrication systems
Biological systems
Algae
cells
connective tissue
Muscle
Microscopic examination
cartilage
Adhesion
Cells
Tissue
muscles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Gebeshuber, I. C., Stachelberger, H., & Drack, M. (2005). Diatom biotribology. Tribology and Interface Engineering Series, 48, 365-370.

Diatom biotribology. / Gebeshuber, I. C.; Stachelberger, H.; Drack, M.

In: Tribology and Interface Engineering Series, Vol. 48, 2005, p. 365-370.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gebeshuber, IC, Stachelberger, H & Drack, M 2005, 'Diatom biotribology', Tribology and Interface Engineering Series, vol. 48, pp. 365-370.
Gebeshuber IC, Stachelberger H, Drack M. Diatom biotribology. Tribology and Interface Engineering Series. 2005;48:365-370.
Gebeshuber, I. C. ; Stachelberger, H. ; Drack, M. / Diatom biotribology. In: Tribology and Interface Engineering Series. 2005 ; Vol. 48. pp. 365-370.
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