The number of nature-inspired products on the market doubles every year

48By Karina Toledo

Agência FAPESP – The lotus plant (Nelumbo nucifera) has become a symbol of spiritual purity because of its ability to remain impeccably clean in the muddy environment that it lives in. This feat can be explained by the presence of wax nanocrystals on the surface of the leaves, which very efficiently repel water. Water drops that fall on the plant have an almost perfectly spherical shape, sliding off with ease and taking with them dirt and microorganisms.

This phenomenon, known by scientists as the “lotus effect,” has served as the inspiration for the development of self-cleaning paints, glass and textiles that do not require the use of detergent, in addition to waterproof electronics.

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