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Sclereid cells prevent soft tissue collapse: plants


Dionysia kossinskyi, sclereids in leaf / IdaBokmal / LicenseCC-by-sa - Attribution Share Alike

Sclereid cells in vascular plants help prevent the collapse of soft tissues during water stress via thick, lignified walls.

"Sclereids are also cells with thick, lignified walls. They are grouped with fibres under the general term sclerenchyma. They differ from fibres in generally being shorter in relation to their length, but there is some overlap in the range of cells. They may be branched, sinuous or short -- often more or less isodiametric. The longer ones commonly feature in the sheaths to veins, particularly near the ends of the finer branches. They can be pit-prop-like when they extend between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves, and appear to help prevent collapse of softer tissues at times of water stress, as in olive leaves and the leaves of many mangrove plants. These plants, and many of the hard-leaved plants found in arid habitats, often have abundant elongated or branched sclereids." (Cutler 2005:104)
About the inspiring organism

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Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Material design applications to prevent cracking in musical instruments as drying occurs, structural or material designs that prevent cracking in walls or foundations at moisture levels fluctuate.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Musical instruments, building

Cutler, DF. 2005. Design in plants. In: Collins, MW; Atherton, MA; Bryant, JA, editors. Nature and Design. Southampton, Boston: WIT Press. p 95-124
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