AIMS lab Projects

Our team of researchers have developed new tools, techniques, and theories to investigate the systems within arthropods

Study and knowledge Applications

We apply the knowledge gained from natural systems to develop arthropod-inspired multifunctional and adaptive materials and interfaces.

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Comparative biomechanics and evolution of hawk moth proboscises

The project focuses on how proboscis structure in hawk moths relates to biomechanics of feeding and explores the evolutionary forces responsible for miniaturization and gigantism of the proboscis. 

Blood clotting at wound sites is critical for preventing blood loss and invasion by microorganisms in multicellular animals, especially small arthropods vulnerable to dehydration. 

The mechanistic reaction of the clot is the first step in providing scaffolding for the formation of new epithelial and cuticular tissue.

In arthropods, clot nucleation and transformation of viscous blood into a visco-elastic aggregate happens much faster than that in vertebrates.

These studies can help design fast-working thickeners for vertebrate blood, including human blood, based on clotting principles of arthropod blood.

The research employs unique nanotechnology developed in the group, the Magnetic Rotational Spectroscopy with ferromagnetic nanorods.

Magnetic rotational spectroscopy is a microrheological technique that requires nanoliters sample for testing and is non-destructive technique allowing to evaluate the viscous torque of the order 10-17 N*m.

The designed magnetic stage can be placed under an upright microscope. Applying a homogeneous magnetic field generated by the coils and forcing the nanorod to rotate at different rates of revolution, one scans over a range of applied rotation frequencies to see how the nanorod responds.

The developed image processing protocol allows one to track individual nanorods and to observe the transition from synchronous to asynchronous rotation. This transition frequency is accurately detected. The model then relates this transition frequency with the viscous properties of the probed fluid.