Liquid-induced colour change in a beetle: The concept of a photonic cell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The structural colour of male Hoplia coerulea beetles is notable for changing from blue to green upon contact with water. In fact, reversible changes in both colour and fluorescence are induced in this beetle by various liquids, although the mechanism has never been fully explained. Changes enacted by water are much faster than those by ethanol, in spite of ethanols more rapid spread across the elytral surface. Moreover, the beetles photonic structure is enclosed by a thin scale envelope preventing direct contact with the liquid. Here, we note the presence of sodium, potassium and calcium salts in the scale material that mediate the penetration of liquid through putative micropores. The result leads to the novel concept of aphotonic cell: namely, a biocompatible photonic structure that is encased by a permeable envelope which mediates liquid-induced colour changes in that photonic structure. Engineered photonic cells dispersed in culture media could revolutionize the monitoring of cell-metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19322
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Photonic bandgap materials
  • Photonic crystals
  • Color
  • porosity
  • Beetle
  • Beetle scale
  • Colorimetry

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  • Projects

    Equipment

  • Morphology - Imaging

    Charles Nicaise (Manager) & Francesca Cecchet (Manager)

    Technological Platform Morphology - Imaging

    Facility/equipment: Technological Platform

  • Activities

    • 8 Participation in conference
    • 3 Invited talk
    • 2 Oral presentation

    Belgian Physical Society (BPS) General Scientific Meeting 2017

    Sébastien Mouchet (Poster)

    17 May 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Plymouth Marine Laboratory – University of Exeter Research Day

    Sébastien Mouchet (Poster)

    24 Apr 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Optical Biomimetics

    Sébastien Mouchet (Speaker)

    24 Apr 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Student Theses

    Mécanismes fondamentaux de la coloration structurale : addiction et induction de couleurs

    Author: Mouchet, S., 29 Sep 2015

    Supervisor: Deparis, O. (Supervisor), Su, B. L. (Jury), Lepere, M. (President), Vukusic, P. (External person) (Jury), Berthier, S. (External person) (Jury) & Voué, M. (External person) (Jury)

    Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Sciences

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