Image of the Day: Cocoon

Researchers have taken inspiration from wild silk moths to craft fibers that can transport images.

May 23, 2018
Sukanya Charuchandra

Light passing through glossy cocoon fibers spun by a Madagascar comet moth NORMAN SHI AND NANFANG YU/COLUMBIA ENGINEERINGInspired by the Madagascar comet moth (Argema mittrei), researchers at Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science have modeled synthetic fibers, which mimic the insect’s silk, transmitting light and images from one end to the other.

“This means we might be able to use them as a biocompatible and bioresorbable material for optical signal and image transport in biomedical applications,” says coauthor Nanfang Yu in a statement.

N. Shi et al., “Nanostructured fibers as a versatile photonic platform: Radiative cooling and waveguiding through transverse Anderson localization,” Light: Science & Applications, doi:10.1038/s41377-018-0033-x.