The surface properties of earthworms were studied using nitrogen adsorption/desorption isotherm and dynamic contact angle measurement with the aim to understand their non-stain behaviour. The results obtained by applying dynamic contact angle technique using water, glycerol, cooking oil and dimethylsilicone show that the surface properties of earthworms are a function of time. The critical surface energy, calculated using advancing angle, is as low as 11 × 10-3J·m-2. However this hydrophobic behaviour at the initial contact moment changes progressively into hydrophilic as time goes by. This behaviour together with the creeping movement of corrugated surface is believed to be responsible for the non-stain behaviour of earthworms. The nitrogen adsorption isotherm of dried skin of earthworms at 77.3 K exhibits more or less Type V isotherm with surface area of 13 m2·g-1calculated using the αsplot. The Type V isotherm is the indication of weak interaction between nitrogen and the worm surface. © 2010 Jilin University.
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