Conflicting requirements for transparency and mechanical stability in the compound eyes of desert locusts

Journal article


Li, C., Rajabi, H. and Gorb, S. (2022). Conflicting requirements for transparency and mechanical stability in the compound eyes of desert locusts. Advanced Materials Interfaces. 2200766. https://doi.org/10.1002/admi.202200766
AuthorsLi, C., Rajabi, H. and Gorb, S.
Abstract

Compound eyes of insects should be both thin and transparent to allow light to pass through, and at the same time mechanically stable to serve as exoskeleton. These conflicting requirements make the corneal cuticle an interesting example for studying cuticle biomechanics as well as for designing composite materials that seek similar properties. Here we combined scanning electron microscopy (SEM), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and nanoindentation, to investigate the microstructure, material composition and material properties of the corneal cuticle of desert locust Schistocerca gregaria. The results suggest that a fully helicoidal architecture and large proportion of resilin in the corneal cuticle are likely to be adaptations for light transmission. Even though the corneal cuticle is resilin-rich, its elastic modulus is at least three times higher than that previously reported for other resilin-rich cuticles. This is likely due to the specific microstructure of the corneal cuticle with densely packed layers. This study presents one of a series of studies, in which we used multidisciplinary approaches, to understand the link between the structure, material, property, and function in insect cuticle.

KeywordsInsect; Cuticle; Mechanical properties; Microstructure ; Resilin; Cornea
Year2022
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Journal citation2200766
PublisherWiley
ISSN2196-7350
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/admi.202200766
Web address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/admi.202200766
Publication dates
Print27 Aug 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted25 Jul 2022
Deposited31 Aug 2022
Publisher's version
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File Access Level
Open
Accepted author manuscript
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File Access Level
Controlled
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