Protective coating in fly eye could have applications in medicine and electronics


In Russia and Switzerland, researchers are replicating a nanocoating found in fruit fly eyes  with potential applications in medicine, textiles, and nanoelectronics. The team, comprised of scientists from Far Eastern Federal University, University of Geneva, University of Lausanne and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, have found the biodegradable coating to have anti-reflective, anti-microbial and self-cleaning properties.  The team also found that by tweaking the coating’s two components—proteins and lipids—they were able to change the final physical characteristics of the coating.

“There are broad applications,” says Vladimir Katanaev, head of research and head of the Laboratory of Pharmacology of Natural Compounds at FEFU’s School of Biomedicine. “For example, it may be textile structural coloring that would change color depending on the angle of view.  A metamaterial-based camouflage coat, an antibacterial layer for medical implants and a self-cleaning coating for contact lenses and windshields can be made. We also assume that if we reinforce nanocoating, it could be used for advanced electronics as a basis for prototype flexible miniature transistors.”

The findings were detailed in a recent issue of Nature.