Since ancient times humans observed animal and plants features and tried to adapt them according to their own needs. Biomimetics represents the foundation of many inventions from various fields: From transportation devices (helicopter, airplane, submarine) and flying techniques, to sports’ wear industry (swimming suits, scuba diving gear, Velcro closure system), bullet proof vests made from Kevlar etc. It is true that nature provides numerous noteworthy models (shark skin, spider web, lotus leaves), referring both to the plant and animal kingdom. This review paper summarizes a few of “nature’s interventions” in human evolution, regarding understanding of surface wettability and development of innovative special surfaces. Empirical models are described in order to reveal the science behind special wettable surfaces (superhydrophobic /superhydrophilic). Materials and methods used in order to artificially obtain special wettable surfaces are described in correlation with plants’ and animals’ unique features. Emphasis is placed on joining superhydrophobic and superhydrophilic surfaces, with important applications in cell culturing, microorganism isolation/separation and molecule screening techniques. Bio-inspired wettability is presented as a constitutive part of traditional devices/systems, intended to improve their characteristics and extend performances.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited