The 3D image shows how the shark’s entrails act like Tesla’s valve


Born Serbs in 1920 inventor Nikola Tesla designed and patented what he called “valve line “: a tube whose internal design ensures the flow of liquid in one desired direction, without the need for moving parts, making it ideal for use in microfluidics, among other uses. According to recent work published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Tesla’s valve also provides a useful model for moving food through the digestive system of many shark species. Based on new CT scans of the shark’s intestines, the scientists concluded that the intestines occur naturally. Tesla valves.

“It’s high time to use some modern technology to look at this truly amazing spiral shark hose,” said co-author Samantha Leigh California State University, Dominguez Hills. “We’ve developed a new method to digitally scan these tissues and now we can look at soft tissues in such detail without having to cut them.”

The key to Tesla’s ingenious valve design is a set of interconnected, asymmetrical teardrop-shaped loops. In his patent application, Tesla described this series of 11 flow control segments as if they were made of “enlargements, depressions, protrusions, baffles or buckets” which, although offering almost no resistance to fluid passage in one direction other than surface friction, are almost impassable. a barrier to its flow in the opposite direction. “And since it achieves this without moving parts, Tesla’s valve is much more resistant to wear and frequent operations.

Tesla claimed that water would flow through his valve 200 times slower in one direction than in the other, which may have been an exaggeration. A team of scientists from New York University built a working Tesla valve 2021, according to the inventor’s design, and examined this claim by measuring the flow of water through the valve in both directions at different pressures. The scientists found that the water flowed only about twice as slowly in the unwanted direction.

However, the flow rate proved to be a critical factor. The valve provided very little resistance at slow flow rates, but when that speed increased above a certain threshold, the valve resistance would also increase, generating turbulent flows in the opposite direction, thus “clogging” the pipe with vortices and intermittent currents. So it actually works more like a switch, according to co-author Leif Ristroph, and can also help mitigate pulsating currents, much like how AC / DC converters convert AC to DC. In fact, Ristroph suggested that this may have been Tesla’s intention in designing the valve, given that his greatest demand for fame was the invention of the AC motor and AC / DC converter.

And now Tesla’s valve provides insight into the unusual structure of the shark’s intestines, thanks to a team of researchers from three universities: CSU, Dominguez Hills; University of Washington; and UC Irvine.

Sharks They are supreme predators, feeding on a wide range of species, and are therefore important for controlling biodiversity in a larger ecosystem. Most sharks have helical intestines that consist of a different number of folds in the intestinal tissue, typically in one of four basic configurations: columnar, coil, funnel directed backward, or funnel directed forward. These four types of hoses are usually shown in 2D sketches that are shown in two dimensions after dissection or shown as two-dimensional cross-sections through a three-dimensional structure. But that doesn’t give scientists much insight into how the structure works in situ.

Last year, Japanese researchers reconstructed micrographs of histological sections from a species of feline shark to a three-dimensional model, which offers a “torturous insight into the anatomy of the spiral coil of the coil,” according to the authors of this latest paper. Co-author Adam Summers, of the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs lab, and his colleagues decided that a CT scan could achieve something similar, as the technique involves taking a series of X-rays from different angles and combining them into 3D images.

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