Large-scale water collection of bioinspired cavity-microfibers

Ye Tian, Pingan Zhu, Xin Tang, Chunmei Zhou, Jianmei Wang, Tiantian Kong, Min Xu, Liqiu Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)


Large-scale and high-efficient water collection of microfibers with long-term durability still remains challenging. Here we present well-controlled, bioinspired spindle-knot microfibers with cavity knots (named cavity-microfiber), precisely fabricated via a simple gas-in-water microfluidic method, to address this challenge. The cavity-microfiber is endowed with unique surface roughness, mechanical strength, and long-term durability due to the design of cavity as well as polymer composition, thus enabling an outstanding performance of water collection. The maximum water volume collected on a single knot is almost 495 times than that of the knot on the cavity-microfiber. Moreover, the spider-web-like networks assembled controllably by cavity-microfibers demonstrate excellent large-scale and high-efficient water collection. To maximize the water-collecting capacity, nodes/intersections should be designed on the topology of the network as many as possible. Our light-weighted yet tough, low-cost microfibers with high efficiency in directional water transportation offers promising opportunities for large-scale water collection in water-deficient areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1080
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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