Navigation Links
As sticky as a gecko... but 10 times stronger!

The gecko's amazing ability to stick to surfaces and walk up walls has inspired many researchers to manufacture materials that mimic the special surface of a gecko's foot. The secret behind the gecko's ability to stick so well is a forest of pillars at the micro-/nano-scale on the underside of the gecko's foot. Because there are so many pillars so close together, they are held tightly to the surface the gecko is walking on by a molecular force called the Van der Waals force. This relatively weak force causes uncharged molecules to attract each other.

In an unprecedented feat, Liming Dai, at the University of Dayton, and colleagues report in the October 10th issue of Science successful construction of a gecko-inspired adhesive that is ten times stronger than a gecko, at about 100 newtons per square centimeter.

The researchers constructed their adhesive out of two slightly different layers of multi-walled carbon nanotubes. The lower layer is composed of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes, while the upper segment--which comes into contact with the surface it is sticking to--is curly, like a mess of spaghetti.

As shown in the figure, the adhesive sticks best when it is pulled down parallel to the surface it is sticking to--this is called shear adhesion. This action arranges the tips of the curly nanotubes so they have maximum contact with the substrate, thereby maximizing the Van der Waals force. Pulling the adhesive off in a motion perpendicular to the substrate is much easier--at this angle the sticking force is ten times weaker.

In this way, the adhesive has strong shear adhesion for firm attachment and relatively weak adhesion for detachment perpendicularly to the substrate. Just like a gecko, the adhesive can stick to a wall when needed, and then lift off easily to take the next step. This breakthrough, supported by the National Science Foundation, will have many technological applications.


Contact: Joshua A. Chamot
National Science Foundation

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Sticky questions tackled in gecko research
2. Premature children 4 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
3. Top Secret Technology To Help U.S. Swimmers Trim Times at Beijing Olympics
4. Top secret technology to help US swimmers trim times at Beijing Olympics
5. Estimation of isolation times in the Drosophila simulans complex
6. Stanfords nanowire battery holds 10 times the charge of existing ones
7. Brains timing linked with timescales of the natural visual world
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
As sticky as a gecko... but 10 times stronger!
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 The ... vendor landscape is marked by the presence of several ... however held by five major players - 3M Cogent, ... companies accounted for nearly 61% of the global military ... companies in the global military biometrics market boast global ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... PUNE, India , April 13, 2017 According ... Identity Proofing, Identity Authentication, Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication ... by MarketsandMarkets™, the IAM Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 ... Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.3%. ... ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin ... its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and ... Gino Pereira ... look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions ... over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected ... based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 ... ... cancer-focused pharmaceutical company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing ... HPLN (Hybrid Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with Children’s ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... SomaGenics announced the receipt of a Phase ... (Single Cell), expected to be the first commercially available ... from single cells using NGS methods. The NIH,s recent ... development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity of cell ... for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual cells have ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Jupiter, FL (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... episode, scheduled to broadcast first quarter 2018. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on ... Agriculture industry is faced with the challenge of how to continue to feed a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: