Making photonic structures via cell culture: Morpho butterfly scales
Richard Parker A., Elizabeth Townley H.
© 2015, Thomas Telford Services Ltd. All rights reservedThe photonic structures that cause the electric blue colour of some Morpho butterflies are desirable within industry. They have been reproduced on very small areas to produce prototype biomimetic structures, yet there is currently no technique to accurately manufacture these structures at a commercial level. Here, tissue and cell culture techniques are explored as a possible method of producing large quantities of the blue scales of Morpho peliedes. This represents the first attempt to culture the wing scales of a Morpho butterfly, and many problems were encountered. These could be remedied in future studies, but it is concluded that cell culture is probably not a viable technique to provide the Morpho structure for industry in the near future. However, tissue culture experiments revealed important results of scale development.