The fields are covered with dandelions in spring, a very common plant with yellow gold flowers and toothed leaves. When they wither, the flowers turn into white, fluffy seed heads that, like tiny parachutes, are blown apart by the wind. Taraxacum officinale, that’s its scientific name, has inspired legends and poems and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for many ailments.
Now, thanks to a study conducted at the University of Trento, dandelions will inspire new engineering materials. The air-trapping ability of dandelion clocks submerged in water was measured in the laboratory for the first time. This discovery paves the way for the development of new and advanced devices and technologies that could be used in a wide range of applications, for example to create devices or materials that trap air bubbles underwater.
The study was coordinated by Nicola Pugno, professor at the University of Trento and coordinator of the bioinspiration, bionics, nano, meta-materials and mechanics laboratory at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering.
The discovery received international notoriety by “Materials Today Bio”, a multidisciplinary journal …
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