Wong Laboratory for Nature Inspired Engineering


Translating Nature Inspirations into Technology of Tomorrow

Various life forms in nature display a high level of adaptability to their environments through the use of sophisticated micro/nanostructured material interfaces. This is exemplified by numerous examples, such as the ultra-slipperiness of pitcher plants, the self-cleaning of lotus leaves, the tunable-adhesion of gecko feet, the water-walking ability of water strider, and the water desalination of mangrove. Incorporating these natural functions into artificial materials would dramatically enhance their functional capabilities.


To this end, our group is interested in translating the concepts from nature into technology innovation, with the goal to improve the quality of human life. Specifically, we focus on utilizing biologically inspired concepts to design functional and adaptive interfacial materials that not only will augment the capabilities of humans to interact with their environments, but will also allow for a broad range of applications related to energy, water, and health - three important elements for sustainability.


Simply put, we are a group of scientists and engineers who provide nature-inspired solutions to critical engineering challenges facing the society in the 21st century.


LESS: Liquid Entrenched Smooth Surface -

Liquid and viscoelastic solid-repellent coating for global sanitation and beyond


Want to learn more how these super slippery coatings can help water saving and global sanitation?


Read more or Watch a video here.

Reverse Particle Sieve -

Self-Healing Liquid Membranes Inspired by the Architectures of Cell Membranes


How these self-healing liquid membranes can allow large particles to go through while retaining small particles?


Read more or Watch a video here.

Ambient Water Harvesting -

Slippery Rough Surfaces Inspired by the Nepenthes Pitcher Plant and Rice Leaves


How these microscale slippery grooves can collect water from air?


Read more or Watch a video here.

Brochosomes -

Leafhopper's cloaking coat


How these soccer ball like microspheres can act as camouflage coating for leafhopper's eggs against their predators ?  Read more.

SLIPSERS - An Ultrasensitive Detection Platform for a Range of Chemical and Biological Molecules


How the marriage between Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS) and Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) can lead to single molecule detection?  Read more.

Super Slippery Surfaces Inspired by Nepenthes Pitcher Plants


How the slick strategy of pitcher plants inspire a new coating that repels almost everything?  Read more.


Coffee Ring Stains Inspired a New Type of Biomedical Device


You see coffee ring stains everyday.  How this everyday phenomenon can be turned into devices for biomedical applications?  Read more.

Secrets behind the Super Water Repellency of Lotus Leaves


If you wonder why lotus leaves can always be kept clean, there is something "nano" on their surfaces that you should know about!  Read more.

Copyright by Tak-Sing Wong 2013.  All rights reserved.

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Materials Research Institute

Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802


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