Navigation Links
Nature helps to solve a sticky problem
Date:4/5/2011

New York / Heidelberg, 6 April 2011

The arrays of fine adhesive hairs or 'setae' on the foot pads of many insects, lizards and spiders give them the ability to climb almost any natural surface. Research by James Bullock and Walter Federle from the University of Cambridge in England found that the different forces required to peel away these adhesive hairs from surfaces are what allows beetles to adhere to diverse surfaces, thereby reducing the risk of detachment. Their study, published online in the Springer journal Naturwissenschaften The Nature of Science, reports the first adhesive force measurements from single microscopic setae in a live animal.

The adhesive hairs on the feet of leaf beetles are known to take three distinct shapes; pointed, flat (spatula-tipped) and disk-like. They are arranged in specific patterns across the beetle's feet, indicating different biological functions for each hair type. Given their small size (only 1/200th of a millimeter across), there existed no way to determine their individual properties. Bullock and Federle therefore devised a method for measuring the in vivo stickiness of each hair using a fine glass cantilever. By observing the deflection of the cantilever through a microscope, the force needed to detach each hair was calculated.

Results in male beetles showed that the disk-like hairs adhered with the highest force, followed by spatula-tipped and then pointed hairs. Disk-like hairs were also stiffer than either flat or pointed hairs, likely providing stability to the pad. Bullock and Federle suggest that it is these disk-like hairs in particular which allow male beetles to achieve strong adhesion on smooth surfaces. This ability is also important for the males during copulation to hold on firmly to the back of the females. The other hair types, being easier to 'un-stick', may help the beetle to rapidly detach its feet when running upside down.

Before these natural structures can be replicated as synthetic adhesives, a better understanding of their detailed function is needed. The authors conclude, "The question of how forces in natural adhesive systems run from the single-hair to the whole-animal level is a central, unresolved problem. Its understanding will be a prerequisite for the design of bio-inspired synthetic adhesives."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 2011 PerkinElmer Signature Genomic Laboratories Travel Award winner announced
2. Nature paper calls for carbon labeling
3. New data published in Nature Genetics demonstrate that tiny LNA-based compounds developed by Santaris Pharma A/S inhibit entire disease-associated microRNA families
4. Nature study: Jefferson researchers unravel proteins elusive role in embryo and disease development
5. Solving the riddle of natures perfect spring
6. Turning to nature for inspiration
7. When nature calls
8. Study identifies new genetic signatures of breast cancer drug resistance
9. Simulations aim to unlock natures process of biomineralization
10. Parascript SignatureXpert Wins Forensic Signature Verification Competition
11. CIC Announces Upcoming Webinar: Business Challenges & Technology Solutions in 2011: What Leading Insurance Carriers are Planning Now; eSignature Implications
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/18/2017)... a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has developed ... the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ® , ... showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight April ... Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of the M820 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Apr. 11, 2017 Research and Markets has ... report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of ... Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth ... market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. ... the server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across ... has already secured over 15 million users across the ... of connected home product suites and physical access represent ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... Electrospinning and Electrospraying line of nanofiber and nanoparticle fabrication ... for the lab to fully automated pilot plants and equipment for industrial ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... We ... Drug Administration (FDA) inspection at our Dilworth, MN site. The inspection took place ... inspection was conducted as part of a routine Bioresearch Monitoring Program (BIMO) with ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... ... Kapstone Medical is proud to announce that it has reached a ... develop and safeguard their latest innovations. The company has grown from a boutique ... in the United States and around the world. , Company Founder and President, ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Kenall, a leader in sealed ... stay tightly sealed and perform efficiently for years. The downlights are ideal for ... aren't enough, such as: hospitals; behavioral health facilities; cleanrooms; containment areas; food and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: