1 Comment

Summary:

We know you’re busy, so we’ll forgive you for overlooking this week’s announcement that researchers at England’s University of Leeds have discovered a way to mimic the toxic defensive spray of the bombardier beetle. But you’ll want to sit up and pay attention when you find […]

bombadierbeetle.jpgWe know you’re busy, so we’ll forgive you for overlooking this week’s announcement that researchers at England’s University of Leeds have discovered a way to mimic the toxic defensive spray of the bombardier beetle. But you’ll want to sit up and pay attention when you find out why: to create a new water-based compression technology called µMist that’s being touted as the key to everything from improved fuel efficiency to next generation fire suppression to chemical-free drug delivery.

The lead researcher, Professor Andy McIntosh, describes the beetle’s abilities as a type of complex pressure cooker. “Essentially it’s a high-force steam cavitation explosion,” he says in the release, “Using a chamber less than one millimeter long, this amazing creature has the ability to change the rapidity of what comes out, its direction and its consistency.”

The µMist spray technology represents a huge potential leap forward for the precision control of droplet size, velocity and consistency, which in turn could have a massive impact on the efficiency of any system that uses mist as a delivery system–namely fire suppression, medical drug delivery and of course, fuel injection. The team has built a 2-cm chamber that can deliver mists up to 13 feet away, or produce a mist as fine as two microns. Hmm, imagine a fire extinguisher that fits in your pocket…

Say it with us now: Beetle juice, beetle juice, beetle juice. Biotech startup Swedish Biomimetics 3000, a self-described “V2PIO” (that’s virtual venture philanthropic intersectional organization), found the research so promising that the company has inked a worldwide exclusive development and marketing deal for the µMist technology. No word yet on when these beetles will make their U.S. invasion.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Tech News » Blog Archive » Scientists Mimic Beetle’s Liquid Cannon Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    [...] [Thanks, Earth2Tech.] [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post