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Open AccessArticle

Dermal Denticles of Three Slowly Swimming Shark Species: Microscopy and Flow Visualization

Department of Physics, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Marine Biological Section, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, DK-3000 Helsingør, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 17, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.
Biomimetics 2019, 4(2), 38;
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
Shark skin has for many years inspired engineers to produce biomimetic structures reducing surface drag or acting as an anti-fouling layer. Both effects are presumed to be consequences of the structure of shark skin that is composed of arrays of so-called dermal denticles. However, the understanding of the full functional role of the dermal denticles is still a topic of research. We report optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy of dermal denticles from three slowly swimming shark species for which the functional role of the dermal denticles is suggested as one of defense (possibly understood as anti-fouling) and/or abrasion strength. The three species are Greenland shark (Somnosius microcephalus), small-spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) and spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias). Samples were taken at over 30 different positions on the bodies of the sharks. In addition, we demonstrate that the flow pattern near natural shark skin can be measured by micro-PIV (particle image velocimetry). The microfluidic experiments are complemented by numerical flow simulations. Both visualize unsteady flow, small eddies, and recirculation bubbles behind the natural dermal denticles. View Full-Text
Keywords: shark skin; micro-PIV; microfluidics shark skin; micro-PIV; microfluidics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Feld, K.; Kolborg, A.N.; Nyborg, C.M.; Salewski, M.; Steffensen, J.F.; Berg-Sørensen, K. Dermal Denticles of Three Slowly Swimming Shark Species: Microscopy and Flow Visualization. Biomimetics 2019, 4, 38.

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