Journal of Nano Research - Silk Cocoon: "Emperor's New Clothes" for Pupa: Fractal Nano-Hydrodynamical Approach

Silk Cocoon: "Emperor's New Clothes" for Pupa: Fractal Nano-Hydrodynamical Approach


Authors: Ruo Xi Chen, Fu Juan Liu, Ji Huan He, Jie Fan


Abstract: Blossman-Myer and Burggren (Comp. Biochem. Phys. A, 155, 2010,259-263) found that the cocoon of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, while creating a tough barrier offering mechanical protection to the pupa, imposes no barrier to the diffusion of oxygen or water vapor. In view of its mechanical properties, silk cocoon is an "emperor's new clothes" for pupa. A theoretical analysis is given to explain the fascinating phenomenon by a fractal hydrodynamic model for discontinuous membrane composed of hierarchical silk cascade. The model reveals that when the fractal dimensions of the microstructure of the cocoon meet a special condition, air and water vapor can flow through the cocoon as if there were no cocoon. However, at extremes of weather, the cocoon is an excellent thermal protection for both high and cool temperatures. A better understanding of the cocoon mechanism could help the further design of bio-mimetic artificial clothes for special applications.


Direct link:

Views: 26


You need to be a member of The International NanoScience Community to add comments!

Join The International NanoScience Community

Next partner events of TINC

We are Media Partner of:

Welcome - about us

Welcome! Nanopaprika was cooked up by Hungarian chemistry PhD student in 2007. The main idea was to create something more personal than the other nano networks already on the Internet. Community is open to everyone from post-doctorial researchers and professors to students everywhere.

There is only one important assumption: you have to be interested in nano!

Nanopaprika is always looking for new partners, if you have any idea, contact me at

Dr. András Paszternák, founder of Nanopaprika

Publications by A. Paszternák:

The potential use of cellophane test strips for the quick determination of food colours

pH and CO2 Sensing by Curcumin-Coloured Cellophane Test Strip

Polymeric Honeycombs Decorated by Nickel Nanoparticles

Directed Deposition of Nickel Nanoparticles Using Self-Assembled Organic Template,

Organometallic deposition of ultrasmooth nanoscale Ni film,

Zigzag-shaped nickel nanowires via organometallic template-free route

Surface analytical characterization of passive iron surface modified by alkyl-phosphonic acid layers

Atomic Force Microscopy Studies of Alkyl-Phosphonate SAMs on Mica

Amorphous iron formation due to low energy heavy ion implantation in evaporated 57Fe thin films

Surface modification of passive iron by alkylphosphonic acid layers

Formation and structure of alkylphosphonic acid layers on passive iron

Structure of the nonionic surfactant triethoxy monooctylether C8E3 adsorbed at the free water surface, as seen from surface tension measurements and Monte Carlo simulations