Biomimicry has many potential benefits as many
technologies found in nature are superior to their man-made
counterparts. As technological device components approach the micro
and nanoscale, surface properties such as surface adhesion and friction
may need to be taken into account. Lowering surface adhesion by
manipulating chemistry alone might no longer be sufficient for such
components and thus physical manipulation may be required.
Adhesion reduction is only one of the many surface functions
displayed by micro/nano-structured cuticles of insects. Here, we
present a mini review of our understanding of insect cuticle structures
and the relationship between the structure dimensions and the
corresponding functional mechanisms. It may be possible to introduce
additional properties to material surfaces (indeed multi-functional
properties) based on the design of natural surfaces.