About us

Nature-inspired engineering: Transforming Technology for a Better World

At spotLESS Materials, we are driven by a passion for nature-inspired engineering and a mission to create advanced materials that make the world a better place. Our team finds inspiration in the marvels of the natural world, from the intricate structures of plants to the fascinating micro-details of insects. By studying and understanding the key principles behind natural designs, we uncover insights that allow us to develop groundbreaking surface coatings and materials. Our goal is to harness the power of bio-inspired innovation to provide solutions that address global challenges related to contamination, fouling, and sustainability across industries.

  • At our core, we are driven by a deep passion for nature-inspired engineering. Our team finds inspiration in the intricate structures of plants and the marvels of the insect world. Through microscopic exploration, we uncover the fascinating relationship between form and function. By studying the micro/nano-structures on plants, we gain insights into how natural materials possess remarkable water-repellent properties. We are captivated by the beauty of nature's design and harness that knowledge to create advanced materials with practical applications.

    Before our company's inception, our founding team embarked on a collaborative journey in academia, conducting groundbreaking research in nature-inspired engineering as PhD students and faculty members. This experience laid the foundation for our unwavering commitment to utilizing the wonders of nature to drive innovation.

    Passionate about Technology for Positive Impact

    From the very beginning, our team has been fueled by a shared passion for addressing global challenges that impact humanity. Our ultimate goal is to take technology with immense potential and transform it into technology with tangible, positive impacts. A pivotal moment occurred when one of our co-founders, Tak-Sing Wong, was approached by a group working under the Gates Foundation's Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. They sought a solution to the issue of human waste residue in low-water toilet systems. Existing hydrophobic and superhydrophobic coatings excelled at repelling liquids but fell short when faced with sludge-like materials. Driven by the need for a solution, we set out to develop coatings specifically designed to repel human waste. Our research breakthroughs in this area were recently published in the prestigious journal, Nature Sustainability.

    Our journey in tackling "sticky problems" did not end there. We quickly recognized that surfaces prone to contamination and fouling are pervasive across various industries, from automotive applications to medical settings. Our mission expanded to include developing surfaces that possess self-cleaning properties. Our aim is to create coatings that not only repel dirt and substances but also have the ability to keep themselves clean, reducing the need for constant maintenance or replacement.

    Making the World a Better Place

    Our ultimate ambition is to leverage our skills and technological expertise to make a lasting positive impact on the world. Aligned with the Global Grand Challenges outlined by the National Academy of Engineering, we are determined to contribute to solutions that address pressing global issues. By tackling challenges related to sanitation, fouling, and self-cleaning surfaces, we strive to enhance the well-being and sustainability of diverse industries.

    Cutting-Edge Technology for Lasting Solutions

    At spotLESS Materials, we pride ourselves on our cutting-edge technology and innovative approach. Our coatings stand out for their exceptional ease of application and their remarkable ability to repel sludge, liquids, and more, as showcased in our recent publication in Nature Sustainability. Since our establishment in May 2018, we have been dedicated to developing and commercializing our liquid-entrenched smooth surface (LESS) coating, which demonstrates unrivaled performance in addressing fouling, icing, and self-cleaning challenges. By positioning ourselves as leaders and fostering collaborative partnerships, we aim to become the go-to development partner for industries seeking solutions to their "sticky problems." Our efforts have already been recognized with a SBIR grant from the US National Science Foundation for sanitation applications, and we are actively engaged in multiple testing and contracted research opportunities.

    Join us on our mission to revolutionize industries, harnessing the power of nature-inspired engineering to create a cleaner, more sustainable future for all. Together, we can make a meaningful difference and pave the way for transformative solutions to global challenges.