Slithering Innovation

A scientist has been dubbed a 'cartographer of snakeskin' as he has been investigating the power of serpent skin in understanding friction. From measuring the shape, distribution and size of scales, to observing the movement and flow of different species bodies as they move across surfaces, Hisham Abdel-Aal – an associate teaching professor from Drexel University's College of Engineering – has explored the properties of the reptiles in order to help engineers improve the design of textured surfaces. The findings will have implications in improving designs such as engine cylinder liners, prosthetic joints and even trainers!
"The snakes we are studying today are the result of an evolutionary process that has fully adapted the micro-structure of their skin and their body structure to moving and surviving in their habitat from day one. These environments can be brutal on even our most advanced machinery, so applying what we know about snake texturing could help our technology adapt as well"
Hisham Abdel-Aal
In A Knot by Paraglow Boa