Manufacture of wrinkly colloids

We aim to develop a scalable route for the manufacture of cellulose-based colloids exhibiting a wrinkly surface topography

Surface topographies on plants can have a variety of functions [1]. They impart superhydrophobicity, modify the heat-signature, act as photonic gratings, and provide a tactile function for pollinating insects. Very recently surface wrinkle patterns were shown to be highly effective for insect repellency [2-4]. Cuticular folds with the insect repelling functionality are however found only on specific plants. On the other hand,the agricultural industry deploys ca. 1-10 kg or pesticides per hectare of cultivated land,giving rise to health end environmental issues. The development of an effective insect repelling agent that is non-toxic and made entirely from nature-sourced waste materials is thus an appealing prospect.

The goal of this project is therefore to mimic insect repellence occurring in nature, and develop a non-toxic, sustainable and natural insect repelling agent that is easy to deploy.


[1] K. Koch, B. Bhushan, and W. Barthlott, “Multifunctional surface structures of plants: An inspiration for biomimetics,” Progress in Materials Science, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 137–178, Feb. 2009.

[2] B. Prüm, H. Florian Bohn, R. Seidel, S. Rubach, and T. Speck, “Plant surfaces with cuticular folds and their replicas: Influence of microstructuring and surface chemistry on

the attachment of a leaf beetle,” Acta Biomaterialia, vol. 9, pp. 6360–6368, Mai 2013.

[3] B. Prüm, R. Seidel, H. F. Bohn, and T. Speck, “Plant surfaces with cuticular folds are slippery for beetles,” Journal of The Royal Society Interface, p. rsif20110202, Jun. 2011.

[4] B. Prüm, R. Seidel, H. F. Bohn, and T. Speck, “Impact of cell shape in hierarchically structured plant surfaces on the attachment of male Colorado potato beetles (

Leptinotarsa decemlineata ),” Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, vol. 3, pp. 57–64, Jan. 2012.

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