;
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

NCTO endorses USMCA; to lobby Congress to adopt agreement

Textiles | On 13th Dec 2018

NCTO endorses USMCA; to lobby Congress to adopt agreement

The National Council of Textile Organisations (NCTO) board of...

12 Asian garment firms to operate in Haiti by mid-2019

Apparel/Garments | On 13th Dec 2018

12 Asian garment firms to operate in Haiti by mid-2019

At least a dozen Asian garment manufacturing companies will start...

Pakistan evolving export-oriented policies: top official

Textiles | On 13th Dec 2018

Pakistan evolving export-oriented policies: top official

Pakistan is evolving export-oriented policies and is committed to...

Interviews View All

Deepak Jain, Baggout

Deepak Jain
Baggout

We are using Facebook and Instagram to promote ourselves

Mandeep Nagi, Shades of India

Mandeep Nagi
Shades of India

Women value something that is unique and has a flavour of India

Yashiki Gumber, Sahiba Fabrics

Yashiki Gumber
Sahiba Fabrics

Fabric does not restrict us from fashion trends

Sandip Bhojani, Manthan Patel,

Sandip Bhojani, Manthan Patel

Krypthm Tradelink LLP is a Surat-based manufacturer of westernwear....

Apurva Kothari,

Apurva Kothari

No Nasties was the first fashion brand in India to make 100 per cent...

Akshat Chaudhary,

Akshat Chaudhary

Aizome, Asia's first Fairtrade denim brand, is all set to launch next...

Melissa Tate, University of New South Wales

Melissa Tate
University of New South Wales

<div><div><div><div><b>Melissa Tate</b>, a well-known scientist currently...

Wolfgang Plasser, Lenzing AG

Wolfgang Plasser
Lenzing AG

The Lenzing Group is an international company headquartered in Austria...

Giulio Cesareo, Directa Plus SpA

Giulio Cesareo
Directa Plus SpA

Established in 2005, Direct Plus SpA, is one of the largest producers and...

Anisha Chaudhari, Threads & Shirts

Anisha Chaudhari
Threads & Shirts

Threads &amp; Shirts is a freshly-tailored concept providing men/women a...

Amiben Shroff, Shrujan

Amiben Shroff
Shrujan

From its modest beginning in the late 1960s, Shrujan has grown into a...

Divvya and Nidhhi Gambhir, Walnut

Divvya and Nidhhi Gambhir
Walnut

<b>Divvya and Nidhhi Gambhir</b> started their career with the launch of...

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


December 2018

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

news category


Related Categories:

Advanced Search