Home / Knowledge / News / Information Technology / Nano Camouflage outfits for fashionistas & environmentalists
Nano Camouflage outfits for fashionistas & environmentalists
23
Apr '09
Sandia researcher George Bachand
Sandia researcher George Bachand
Certain fish species blend with their environment by changing color.

Sandia National Laboratories researchers have demonstrated that, in theory, they could cause synthetic materials to change color like fish do.

“Camouflage outfits that blend with a variety of environments without need of an outside power source — say, blue when at sea and then brown in a desert environment — is where this work could eventually lead,” says principal investigator George Bachand. “Or the same effect could be used in fabricating chic civilian clothing that automatically changes color to fit different visual settings.”

Such clothing could be a reality in five to ten years, he says.

The power source for both the biological and the lab method relies on the basic cellular fuel called ATP, which releases energy as it breaks down. Fifty percent (roughly) is absorbed by the motor proteins — tiny molecular motors able to move along surfaces.

When fish change colors, motor proteins aggregate and disperse skin pigment crystals carried in their “tails” as they walk with their “feet” along the microtubule skeleton of the cell. By this means, they rearrange the color display.

Introducing an on/off switch
To put motor proteins in motion or switch them off, nature uses complex signaling networks. The Bachand group's method is simpler. It involves the simple genetic insertion of a kind of docking port in the motor protein's structure. What docks are zinc ions. Bound zinc ions turn the protein's action to “off.” Stripping zinc ions out with chemical agents allows the motor protein to work again. The effect is controllable, and even reversible.

“We essentially reengineered the protein structure to introduce a switch into the motor,” says Bachand. “So we can now turn our nanofluidic devices on and off.”

Previous efforts at regulating motor activity have used fuel intake as a control mechanism: the less the fuel, the slower the process. The Bachand group's switch, operated independently of fuel changes, resembles the improvement in early automobile technologies when a simple ignition switch took over for more complicated rheostats. The paper describing this work was a spotlighted article in the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering (vol. 100, p. 478).

But what is it that the switch operates?

Like crowd surfers at a rock concert
In a cover article in the high-profile journal Advanced Materials (Dec. 2, 2008), the Sandia team describes a kind of inverted cellular world, where motor proteins do not run about but instead are upended so that their tails are embedded in a protein-modified layer on a glass slide. Free-ranging microtubules — cylindrical protein filaments — instead of forming the cellular skeleton of cells, are passed along by the waving feet of the motor proteins like crowd surfers at a rock concert, or like buckets passed hand-to-hand along a line of firefighters.


Must ReadView All

ITC, ICS tie up to help Moroccan textile value chain

Textiles | On 21st Apr 2018

ITC, ICS tie up to help Moroccan textile value chain

The International Trade Centre (ITC) has partnered with ICS, which...

Bangladesh garment manufacturers call for fair pricing

Apparel/Garments | On 21st Apr 2018

Bangladesh garment manufacturers call for fair pricing

Bangladesh garment manufacturers want a ‘commensurate adjustment’ by...

Pak ministry proposes extension to PM package for 2018-19

Textiles | On 21st Apr 2018

Pak ministry proposes extension to PM package for 2018-19

Pakistani textile ministry has reportedly proposed extending the...

Interviews View All

Varinder Singh Jawanda
Trendy Bharat

Sizing and fitting issues are inherent problems for companies expanding...

Sanjay Yagnik
Maa Tex Speciality

‘We suggest reducing dosage of sizing chemicals to reduce sludge...

Awen Delaval
Samatoa

'Natural fibres are appreciated for traditional authenticity'

Anupam Arya

<div>Jaipur-based Fabriclore Retailing Pvt. Ltd. is attempting to revive...

Hardik Sanghvi

Idealin Fogging Systems has been engaged in designing and manufacturing...

Harsh Shah

Fynd is the central online shopping destination for fashion, offering...

Suresh Patel
Sidwin Fabric

Sidwin Fabric is a manufacturer and exporter of polypropylene textiles and ...

Larry L Kinn
Suominen Corporation

Larry L Kinn, Senior Vice President - Operations Americas of Suominen...

Paolo Ocleppo
Sandvik Hyperion

Paolo Ocleppo, Rotary Cutting Segment manager, Sandvik Hyperion discusses...

Adriano Goldschmied
AG Jeans

The hype around 'designer jeans' was created by him. And the new wave of...

Judy Frater
Somaiya Kala Vidya

Among the many honours showered on Frater, including Fulbright and Ford...

Yash P. Kotak
Bombay Hemp Company

One of the directors of Bombay Hemp Company, Yash P. Kotak, speaks to...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

Leave your Comments


April 2018

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes
69.9%
No
12.6%
Skip
17.5%

Total Votes: 103

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes
63.1%
No
29.1%
Skip
7.8%

Total Votes: 103

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes
87.4%
No
8.7%
Skip
3.9%

Total Votes: 103

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

Active Poll

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes
82.5%
No
7.8%
Skip
9.7%

Total Votes: 103


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search