Shark Skin Pattern Used As Model To Fight Bacteria

By Francis Yupangco 6 years ago2 Comments

1370529935Although the hospital is intended to be a place people go to get better, many people get very sick from infections acquired while at the hospital. The overuse of antibiotics has been blamed for the rise of so called super viruses, which are viruses that are resistant to antibiotics. Scientists have turned to the sea to try and find a solution to this ever growing problem. Scientists have found a solution using shark skin. Shark skin is characterised by its grey colour and the contrast between the slippery appearance and its rough tactile texture. Sharks skin has dermal denticles, small structures that are placoid scales which give the skin its rough texture, similar to sandpaper. Sharks evolved to have this pattern on their skin. The denticles resemble shark teeth more than fish scales. These denticles also serve another function, they create stress on microorganisms, therefore the microorganisms cant survive longer than 18 minutes. Mark Spiecker, the CEO of Sharklet Technologies, built a material for hospital surfaces that mimics the diamond pattern found on the dermal denticles of the shark skin. Sharklet is the first technology to inhibit bacterial growth based on pattern alone. It uses no chemicals or antibiotics, but relies solely on its structural design. This discovery holds great promise for the future of fighting bacteria and disease. MORE


 Francis Yupangco

  (448 articles)

Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD's reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident "Fish Geek" and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world's largest vertically integrated fish farming company.


  • The beginning of the article states that overuse of antibiotics has been blamed for the rise of super viruses. I was under the impression that antibiotics were ineffective at killing viruses, and their overuse led to the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Also, I have read that super viruses are usually created in laboratories for research, and or medical purposes.

  • What happens to the rest of the shark??

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