staff

Antonio Martins

  • Locally-curved geometry generates bending cracks in the African elephant skin. Nat Commun 2018 Oct;9(1):3865. 10.1038/s41467-018-06257-3. 10.1038/s41467-018-06257-3. PMC6168576.

    abstract

    An intricate network of crevices adorns the skin surface of the African bush elephant, Loxodonta africana. These micrometre-wide channels enhance the effectiveness of thermal regulation (by water retention) as well as protection against parasites and intense solar radiation (by mud adherence). While the adaptive value of these structures is well established, their morphological characterisation and generative mechanism are unknown. Using microscopy, computed tomography and a custom physics-based lattice model, we show that African elephant skin channels are fractures of the animal brittle and desquamation-deficient skin outermost layer. We suggest that the progressive thickening of the hyperkeratinised stratum corneum causes its fracture due to local bending mechanical stress in the troughs of a lattice of skin millimetric elevations. The African elephant skin channels are therefore generated by thickening of a brittle material on a locally-curved substrate rather than by a canonical tensile cracking process caused by frustrated shrinkage.

    view more details on Pubmed

  • R(2)OBBIE-3D, a Fast Robotic High-Resolution System for Quantitative Phenotyping of Surface Geometry and Colour-Texture. PLoS ONE 2015 ;10(6):e0126740. 10.1371/journal.pone.0126740. PONE-D-14-42512. PMC4454658.

    abstract

    While recent imaging techniques provide insights into biological processes from the molecular to the cellular scale, phenotypes at larger scales remain poorly amenable to quantitative analyses. For example, investigations of the biophysical mechanisms generating skin morphological complexity and diversity would greatly benefit from 3D geometry and colour-texture reconstructions. Here, we report on R(2)OBBIE-3D, an integrated system that combines a robotic arm, a high-resolution digital colour camera, an illumination basket of high-intensity light-emitting diodes and state-of-the-art 3D-reconstruction approaches. We demonstrate that R(2)OBBIE generates accurate 3D models of biological objects between 1 and 100 cm, makes multiview photometric stereo scanning possible in practical processing times, and enables the capture of colour-texture and geometric resolutions better than 15 μm without the use of magnifying lenses. R(2)OBBIE has the potential to greatly improve quantitative analyses of phenotypes in addition to providing multiple new applications in, e.g., biomedical science.

    view more details on Pubmed

  • Two waves of anisotropic growth generate enlarged follicles in the spiny mouse. Evodevo 2014 ;5():33. 10.1186/2041-9139-5-33. 2041-9139-5-33. PMC4335386.

    abstract

    Mammals exhibit a remarkable variety of phenotypes and comparative studies using novel model species are needed to uncover the evolutionary developmental mechanisms generating this diversity. Here, we undertake a developmental biology and numerical modeling approach to investigate the development of skin appendages in the spiny mouse, Acomys dimidiatus.

    view more details on Pubmed

Nothing to show yet