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Proteinaceous Light Diffusers and Dynamic 3D Skin Texture in Cephalopods
MARINE BIOLOGICAL LAB WOODS HOLE MA
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This project discovered fundamental and novel mechanisms of structural coloration in cephalopods as well as the biomechanics of dynamic skin papillae that produce morphing soft skin. Two mechanisms of producing whiteness in flexible skin were revealed. First, spherical proteinaceous leucosomes produce uniform and highly efficient whiteness in all directions and from all viewing angles. Second, proteinaceous platelets in specific arrangements can also produce diffuse whiteness, but not with the efficiency of spherical leucosomes. Skin papillae that dynamically produce morphing 3D skin were also characterized biomechanically via gross and fine morphology they are basically constructed as a muscular hydrostat similar to a human tongue, elephant trunk, or octopus arm. For each research project, sufficient modeling of the structures and spectrometry was accomplished and published to enable initial stages of transfer to materials science. An additional project involved dynamic structural coloration of iridophores the neurophysiological control of iridescence was discovered to involve aspects of peripheral control as opposed to solely brain control. In addition to biological achievements, this grant developed new methodology for high-resolution imaging of coloration elements in biological tissue.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE