Daria Monaenkova

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The ability of Lepidoptera, or butterflies and moths, to drink liquids from rotting fruit and wet soil, as well as nectar from floral tubes, raises the question of whether the conventional view of the proboscis as a drinking straw can account for the withdrawal of fluids from porous substrates or of films and droplets from floral tubes. We discovered that(More)
Mouthparts of fluid-feeding insects have unique material properties with no human-engineered analogue: the feeding devices acquire sticky and viscous liquids while remaining clean. We discovered that the external surface of the butterfly proboscis has a sharp boundary separating a hydrophilic drinking region and a hydrophobic non-drinking region. The(More)
We describe a method of fabrication of nanoporous flexible probes which work as artificial proboscises. The challenge of making probes with fast absorption rates and good retention capacity was addressed theoretically and experimentally. This work shows that the probe should possess two levels of pore hierarchy: nanopores are needed to enhance the capillary(More)
Locomotion emerges from effective interactions of an individual with its environment. Principles of biological terrestrial locomotion have been discovered on unconfined vertical and horizontal substrates. However, a diversity of organisms construct, inhabit, and move within confined spaces. Such animals are faced with locomotor challenges including limited(More)
Fluid-feeding Lepidoptera use an elongated proboscis, conventionally modeled as a drinking straw, to feed from pools and films of liquid. Using the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus (Linnaeus), we show that the inherent structural features of the lepidopteran proboscis contradict the basic assumptions of the drinking-straw model. By experimentally(More)
Collective construction of topologically complex structures is one of the triumphs of social behavior. For example, many ant species construct underground nests composed of networks of tunnels and chambers. Excavation by these 'superorganisms' depends on the biomechanics of substrate manipulation, the interaction of individuals, and media stability and(More)
Current advances in the manufacture of nanoporous and nanofibrous materials with high absorption capacity open up new opportunities for the development of fiber-based probes and sensors. Pore structures of these materials can be designed to provide high suction pressure and fast wicking. During wicking, due to the strong capillary action, liquids exert(More)
Root system architecture (RSA) impacts plant fitness and crop yield by facilitating efficient nutrient and water uptake from the soil. A better understanding of the effects of soil on RSA could improve crop productivity by matching roots to their soil environment. We used x-ray computed tomography to perform a detailed three-dimensional quantification of(More)
Root system architecture (RSA) impacts plant fitness and crop yield by facilitating efficient nutrient and water uptake from the soil. A better understanding of the effects of soil on RSA could improve crop productivity by matching roots to their soil environment. We used x-ray computed tomography to perform a detailed three-dimensional quantification of(More)