The external scent efferent system of selected European true bugs (Heteroptera): a biomimetic inspiration for passive, unidirectional fluid transport
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In this work, we present structured capillaries that were inspired by the microstructures of the external scent efferent system as found in different European true bug species (Pentatomidae and Cydnidae). These make use of small, orientated structures in order to facilitate fluid movement towards desired areas where defensive substances are evaporated. Gland channels and microstructures were investigated by means of scanning electron microscopy and abstracted into three-dimensional models. We used these models to create scent channel replicas from different technical substrates (steel and polymers) by means of laser ablation, laser structuring and casting. Video analysis of conducted fluid-flow experiments showed that bug-inspired, artificial scent fluid channels can indeed transport different fluids (water solutions and oils/lubricants) passively in one direction (velocities of up to 1 mm s?1), while halting the fluid movement in the opposite direction. At the end of this contribution, we present a physical theory that explains the observed fluid transport and sets the rules for performance optimization in future work.