The idea of water flowing uphill seems impossible and confined to fantastical images like those created by the artist M.C. Escher (Website link: M.C. Escher, Waterfall). However, engineers at MIT have made this impossibility feasible. Inspiration was taken from motile cilia, the small hair-like structures that line the human throat and waft particles and fluids away and out of the respiratory passages. Each microhair is about 70 microns high and 25 microns wide (a quarter of the size of a human hair) and made of Nickel. An array of these microhairs was fabricated onto an elastic, transparent layer of silicone allowing for it to be applied to many surfaces. The behaviour of the microhairs can also direct the flow of light and so in a similar way to a venitian blind can provide shading.
Website link: MIT news, Press Release, 6th August 2014