A team of US scientists on 8 April 2013 designed a new adaptive material inspired by human tears. The new material was inspired by dynamic, self-restoring systems in Nature, such as the liquid film that coats our eyes. Individual tears join up to form a dynamic liquid film with an obviously significant optical function that maintains clarity, while keeping the eye moist, protecting it against dust and bacteria, and helping to transport away any wastes -- doing all of this and more in literally the blink of an eye.
The bioinspired material is a continuous liquid film that coats, and is infused in, an elastic porous substrate, which is what makes it so versatile. With this design architecture in place, the team has thus far demonstrated the ability to dynamically control, with great precision, two key functions: transparency and wettability.