Bioinspired inner microstructured tube controlled capillary rise

Chuxin Li, Haoyu Dai, Can Gao, Ting Wang, Zhichao Dong, Lei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Effective, long-range, and self-propelled water elevation and transport are important in industrial, medical, and agricultural applications. Although research has grown rapidly, existing methods for water film elevation are still limited. Scaling up for practical applications in an energy-efficient way remains a challenge. Inspired by the continuous water cross-boundary transport on the peristome surface of Nepenthes alata, here we demonstrate the use of peristome-mimetic structures for controlled water elevation by bending biomimetic plates into tubes. The fabricated structures have unique advantages beyond those of natural pitcher plants: bulk water diode transport behavior is achieved with a high-speed passing state (several centimeters per second on a milliliter scale) and a gating state as a result of the synergistic effect between peristome-mimetic structures and tube curvature without external energy input. Significantly, on further bending the peristome-mimetic tube into a “candy cane”-shaped pipe, a self-siphon with liquid diode behavior is achieved. Such a transport mechanism should inspire the design of next generation water transport devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12704-12709
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomimetic
  • Capillary rise
  • Diode
  • Siphon
  • Water transport

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