(Natural News) A study published on the Nature Physics website revealed that the human body is covered on the inside with soft, microscopic carpets of hair — which include the tastebuds, the microvilli in our stomachs and protein strands throughout our blood vessels — that move with the currents of fluids that they are immersed in.
In order to examine the behavior of these microscopic hairs toward fluid flow, a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology fabricated soft beds of hair with varying density, angle, and elasticity. The scientists then used a rheometer to measure the hairs’ impedance or resistance to fluid flow.
The research team found that stiff hairs stay upright when liquid velocity is too low during a fluid flow. On the other hand, the hairs are more susceptible to drooping if the velocity is too high.
However, the researchers noted that certain hairs with distinct angle or elasticity may exhibit an asymmetric drag response during a fluid flow. This means these angled hairs straighten when fluid is flowing against them. During this state, the hairs can slow fluid flow by serving as a temporarily raised gate.
“There’s been a lot of work done at the large scale, studying fluids like wind flowing past a field of grass or wheat, and how bending or changing the shape of an object affects impedance, or fluid flow. But there’s been very little work at small scales that can be applicable to biological hairs…What is surprising is what happened with…Read More