Slippery sensors inspired by floating seeds biodegrade after use

A biodegradable glider made from Java cucumber seeds, which float long distances, could be used to monitor the environment without leaving polluting e-waste


November 29, 2022

A slippery seed of a Javanese cucumber

The winged seeds of Java cucumbers glide from the top of the forest canopy

Nature Picture Library/Alamy Stock Photo

A slippery sensor inspired by Java cucumber seeds could be used for environmental monitoring, then biodegrade quickly, leaving no waste.

Ecologists regularly use sensors to collect data on temperature, humidity, pH and other variables to better understand ecosystems. But when these sensors are abandoned, the electronic waste ends up polluting the environment.

Now Fabian Wiesemüller at Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology and his colleagues took a…

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