The unexpected uses of fish slime

Any idea what the slimy fish could be good for? Of course! Mathematically modelling of drag reduction to save energy! How that relates? Read more.
Fish bank
27 October, 2022
By Bert Popping

Who knew that fish produce slime?  Well, they do. As the team of Vincent Zinsen found out, the purpose of this slime is to deter predators. When they bite the fish, the slime triggers the equivalent of a cough in the predatory fish. Others make themselves slippery, allowing them to escape. But according to the research team of Paul Griffith from Aston University, the nasty slime can actually have other benefits, making vehicles faster and more efficient. The team won a research grant from EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Research Council) for their project “Utilising a Naturally Occurring Drag Reduction Method”. One of the current issues with fuel consumption is “skin-friction drag”, a drag by the surface of an object moving through a gas. One goal of the project is to establish new mathematical models of biological drag reduction techniques, such as those used by fish that secrete slime to make a quick getaway from predators. That could ultimately lead to increase fuel efficiency and reduce CO2.

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