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Material properties of photomechanical infrared receptors in pyrophilous Melanophila beetles and Aradus bugs

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
612 52 2012 8 PDF Available
Title
Material properties of photomechanical infrared receptors in pyrophilous Melanophila beetles and Aradus bugs
Abstract

Jewel beetles of the genus Melanophila and some pyrophilous species of the flat bugs genus Aradus show a pyrophilous behaviour and have developed so-called photomechanical infrared (IR) receptors. In a spherical photomechanical IR sensillum incoming IR radiation is converted into micromechanical action, finally stimulating the dendritic tip of a mechanosensitive sensory cell. The tip is located inside a tiny cuticular sphere with a diameter of about 12 μm. The material properties of the different cuticular components of this sphere are of great importance for stimulus generation. We measured the modulus and hardness of the outer exocuticular shell of the sphere and the mesocuticle inside the core. Measurements were made by nanoindentation at sensilla which were partly cut open under dry as well as under rewetted (i.e. quasi-natural) conditions. We found that in the rewetted sensilla the outer exocuticular shell of the sphere in the Melanophila sensillum is about 50% harder and 20% stiffer than reference exocuticle, and that in both species especially the rewetted mesocuticle of the inner core of the IR sensilla is significantly softer (about 80% in Melanophila) and more compliant (about 90% also in Melanophila) than the reference mesocuticle. The findings can be interpreted as special adaptations of the cuticular microdomains of photomechanical infrared sensilla to enhance thermomechanical performance and, thereby, sensitivity.

Keywords
Insect cuticle; Mechanical properties; Nanoindentation; Infrared receptor; Mechanoreceptor
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Material properties of photomechanical infrared receptors in pyrophilous Melanophila beetles and Aradus bugs
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 8, Issue 9, September 2012, Pages 3392–3399
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
100% Money Back Guarantee
Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
Any Questions? feel free to contact us