Navigation Links
Gecko-inspired adhesion: Self-cleaning and reliable
Date:2/19/2014

This news release is available in German.

Geckos outclass adhesive tapes in one respect: Even after repeated contact with dirt and dust do their feet perfectly adhere to smooth surfaces. Researchers of the KIT and the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, have now developed the first adhesive tape that does not only adhere to a surface as reliably as the toes of a gecko, but also possesses similar self-cleaning properties. Using such a tape, food packagings or bandages might be opened and closed several times. The results are published in the "Interface" journal of the British Royal Society. DOI: rsif.2013.1205

When moving forwards, the gecko's toes drag across a part of the surface. As a result of this lateral friction contact, larger dirt particles are removed. Smaller particles deposit among the setae on the sole and in the skinfolds below. In an experiment, the researchers have proved that both mechanisms provide for 95% of the self-cleaning effect. "This effect is determined by the ratio between particle size and setae diameter", Dr. Hendrik Hlscher of KIT's Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) says.

For their experiments, the scientists used elastic microhairs of variable size. Instead of dirt particles, they employed glass spheres of micrometer size (10-6 meters) and distributed them on a smooth plate. To simulate the steps made by a gecko, they pressed an artificial adhesive tape covered by microhairs onto the plate, shifted it laterally, and lifted the tape off again. This "load-drag-unload" cycle was repeated several times. In parallel, adhesive force was measured.

When the diameter of the spheres exceeded that of the microhairs, the adhesive force disappeared after the first contact ("load") as in case of an ordinary adhesive tape. After eight to ten test cycles, however, the gecko-inspired adhesive tape reached 80 to 100 percent of its original power again. "In the long term, this effect might be used to develop a low-cost alternative to hook and loop fasteners," Hlscher says. "Such a tape might be applied in the sports sector, in medicine, automotive industry or aerospace technology," Metin Sitti, Professor of the Carnegie Mellon University, adds.

When the size of the spheres was smaller than the diameter of the microhairs, the researchers succeeded in restoring one third of the original adhesive force only. "For the perfect gecko-inspired adhesive tape, we therefore need fibers in the nanometer range (10-9 meters), which are smaller than most dirt particles", Dr. Michael Rhrig, IMT scientist, emphasizes. The skinfolds of the gecko have already been reproduced by wide grooves between narrow rows of hair. They offer enough space for the fine dust to deposit. Tests using real dirt particles of variable shape and size and particles made of various materials are planned to be carried out in the near future.


'/>"/>

Contact: Monika Landgraf
presse@kit.edu
49-721-608-47414
Helmholtz Association
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. University of Toronto breakthrough allows fast, reliable pathogen identification
2. And the beat goes on...: The reliable heartbeat of hibernators
3. Study shows immunohistochemistry is reliable screening tool for ALK rearrangement
4. Computer simulations for multiscale systems can be faster, better, more reliable
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Gecko-inspired adhesion: Self-cleaning and reliable
(Date:6/14/2017)... IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups at VivaTech ... startups and global businesses, taking place in Paris ... will showcase the solutions they have built with IBM Watson ... France is one of the most dynamic ... in the number of startups created between 2012 and 2015*, ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... SINGAPORE , May 5, 2017 ... has just announced a new breakthrough in biometric ... that exploits quantum mechanical properties to perform ... new smart semiconductor material created by Ram Group ... across finance, entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form ... Exchange Commission. ... Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the ... on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting ... a professor in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for ... of the winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses the ... in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The prospective ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first ... accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... The HealthTech Venture Network ... at their fourth annual Conference where founders, investors, innovative practitioners and collaborators are ... pitch competition showcasing early stage digital health and med tech companies. , This ...
Breaking Biology Technology: