In our last blog post we submerged ourselves into the world of Biomimetic science. Biomimetics or biomimicry being defined as: the imitation of systems, models and elements of nature to solve sophisticated human problems. Although our focus at Prescott Dentistry is on Biomimetic Dentistry specifically, it is always interesting and helpful to understand the different directions a scientific discipline is heading in addition to your own specialized field. Plus – some of these inventions and discoveries are just so out there that we just had to share!
Chameleon Inspired Material Changes Colors
Developed by researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, there is now an ultra-thin material that bounces back light on the nanoscale level. This invention was just announced earlier this month (March 2015). However, unlike chameleons, this material changes color when flexed or when force is applied to it’s surface. This new technology uses a completely new approach to generating color: microscopic ridges – even smaller than a wavelength of light – are etched into a silicon film 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. The ridges are so small that the space produces the different colors and the highly reflective surface bounces back 83% of light.
Transparent Oyster Shell Armor
Researchers from both France and MIT believe that in the near future cars and soldiers may be equipped with bio-inspired wind/heat shields and armor. Scientists are already experimenting with mimicking a species of oyster who’s shell is 99% ceramic and 80% transparent. This combination is an interesting jumping off point for a bullet-proof windshield. The next step would be to make a nano-composite structure with an anti-ballistic ceramic.
Researchers at the French National Center for Scientific Research have been working with a similar inspiration: mother-of-pearl or nacre. Nacre is secreted inside shells and is excellent at absorbing energy. The researchers are using another natural element, the structure of ice crystals, as a map for building the armor.
As more amazing advances in Biomimetic science emerge we will be sure to share them with you. Please check back often for updates on these exciting developments as well as news and information regarding Prescott Dentistry and other services we provide.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/26/2015) Tambako The Jaguar (Flickr)
Biomimetic Dentistry is the philosophical and practical backbone we use here at Prescott Dentistry. Through numerous articles, we have explored the nature-mimicking elements biomimetic dentistry is comprised of. After all, earth’s life has had millions of years of development to get to it’s current evolutionary state, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery isn’t it? As revolutionary and game-changing non-invasive biomimetic dentistry is, there are several more straight-out-of-science-fiction fields of study in the biomimetic area of research.
Snake Scale Body Armor
Now this certainly sounds like something pulled right from the latest Marvel Comics blockbuster, but scientists at Northeastern University’s College of Engineering are looking into dermal modification based on the evolution of a species’ skin. Studying the scales of fish, snakes, and butterflies may just lead to the creation of body armor that is light, provides excellent mobility, doesn’t compromise on protection, and could even incorporate optical properties like camouflage. These researchers are combining millions of years of evolution with modern technologies like 3-D printing that have only come about in the last 5 years.
Gecko Feet Inspired Wall Climbing Paddles
Another comic book style invention is a set of paddles developed by the U.S. Department of Defense than enables a person (or in this case soldier) to climb straight up surfaces as smooth as glass. A demonstration performed last year featured a man weighing 218 lb. with a 50 lb. pack successfully scaling a 25 foot glass wall with nothing but the paddles and a backup safety harness (which was not needed).
How does the technology work? Geckos are extremely efficient climbers due to feet covered in hundreds of microscopic bristles, each complete with even tinier fibers known as spatulae. This helps the geckos stick to wall via a kind of physical bond called can der Waals force. This happens because the hundreds of fibers between their feet and the wall create an electromagnetic attraction that is still weak enough to disengage and keep climbing.
We will continue our journey into the world of Biomimetic science in future articles, but if you have any questions regarding Biomimetic Dentistry in particular, contact the staff at Prescott Dentistry for more information.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/22/2015) Tambako The Jaguar (Flickr)
Vanity isn’t the most endearing trait in the world. In a society seemingly overrun with the vain and vapid it can be easy to dismiss an idea if it seems a little shallow at first glance. Invisalign might just be one of those products you tend to overlook. However, the benefits of using Invisalign Invisible Braces to straighten your teeth go beyond the cosmetics, and even go beyond not wanting the embarrassment of wearing metal brackets on your teeth for months to years.
First you might be wondering – why do I even need straight teeth? Isn’t it what’s on the inside that counts? Well, first of all, your teeth are on the inside! But all quips aside, the health of your gums and teeth can be negatively affected by crowding and misalignment. When your teeth are properly aligned, the gums fit tighter around the teeth, which creates the strongest defense against periodontal problems. In addition to the healthier gums straight teeth provide, they also can help eliminate issues caused by an improper bite, speech issues, jaw pain, and excessive wear on your enamel.
Then why not just get traditional braces?
Traditional braces, while effective at straightening teeth, can lead to issues with maintaining your oral hygiene. Food gets trapped in wires and brackets which tends to lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay. With Invisalign, you are able to remove the aligners and brush and floss your teeth normally.
The moral of the story: straight teeth are not just about looking good (though it doesn’t hurt!). Contact the staff here at Prescott Dentistry for more information on Invisalign braces in Prescott, AZ.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/11/2015) David Goehring (Flickr)