Navigation Links
The pitter patter of little feet... climbing straight up a wall
Date:1/29/2008

Building upon several years of research into the gecko's uncanny ability to climb sheer walls, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed an adhesive that is the first to master the easy attach and easy release of the reptile's padded feet. The material could prove useful for a range of products, from climbing equipment to medical devices.

Unlike duct tape or glue, the new material is crafted from millions of tiny, hard, plastic fibers that establish grip; a mere square two centimeters on a side can support 400 grams (close to a pound). While tape sticks when it presses onto a surface, the new adhesive sticks as it slides on a surface and releases as it lifts -- this is the trick behind a gecko's speedy vertical escapes.

The new study appeared online Jan. 23, 2008, in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

There are other synthetic adhesives inspired by gecko feet and they adhere much like conventional tape. In contrast, the new adhesive brushes along a surface to develop traction. While ideal for hanging posters, the characteristic is even more important for any application that requires movement, such as climbing.

"The gecko has a very sophisticated hierarchical structure of compliant toes, microfibers, nanofibers and nanoattachment plates that allows the foot to attach and release with very little effort," said co-author and Berkeley professor Ron Fearing, "The gecko makes it look simple, but the animal needs to control the directions it is moving its toes--correct movement equates to little effort," he said.

The new material is also novel in that it gets stronger with use. In experiments, it tightened its hold as it was rubbed repeatedly against a glass plate. The extra strength is caused by the fibers bending over to make more contact, yet once released, the fibers returned to their original shape. The research team is exploring ways to permanently bend the fibers so that the grip strength is its strongest from the outset, no massaging required.

According to Fearing, the new material is the first to mimic the nature of the gecko's characteristic "non-sticky by default" feet. The Berkeley researchers, all engineers, have worked closely with biologists Robert Full, also at Berkeley, and Kellar Autumn of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore., to uncover the key natural properties behind that unique foot, the secret to high mobility on sheer surfaces.

Fearing and his colleagues are part of an NSF-supported Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team (NIRT) that was specifically tasked in 2003 with developing biologically-inspired synthetic gecko adhesives.

"The results of this project are an impressive example of how teaming engineers with biologists results in a better understanding of the role of 'engineering' in nature," says Lynn Preston, the NSF officer who supported these NIRT researchers, and many other teams of engineers and biologists, through her leadership of NSF's Engineering Research Centers program. "This is a perfect example of how to turn that understanding into products that are as sophisticated as those developed by 'Mother Nature'."


'/>"/>

Contact: Josh Chamot
jchamot@nsf.gov
703-292-7730
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Brain imaging and genetic studies link thinking patterns to addiction
2. Studies find stable sleep patterns and regular routines may improve outcomes in bipolar disorder
3. Brain patterns of former anorexics reveal clues to disorders lasting impact
4. Casey Family Programs Hires Ken Patterson as Managing Director of Child and Family Services
5. Media availability: low-fat dietary pattern may lower risk of ovarian cancer
6. Muscle patterns in women may be linked to at risk positioning for ACL tears
7. Nicotine in breast milk disrupts infants sleep patterns
8. Rates of bipolar diagnosis in youth rapidly climbing, treatment patterns similar to adults
9. A Little Regular Exercise Extends Mens Lives
10. Drink a Little, Stay Active, Save Your Heart
11. Lack of Strong Thirst Signals Leads Elderly to Drink Too Little
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The pitter patter of little feet... climbing straight up a wall
(Date:2/10/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... commencement of a master charity program created to assist the local community. Pledging ... with community leaders and nonprofit organizations in the area. Their goal is to ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Dr. Peyman Ghasri, ... now offering a variety of comprehensive procedures for facial enhancement. The treatments now ... restoration, lip enhancement and nasal reshaping. , As a result, patients can ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... St. Louis, Missouri (PRWEB) , ... February 10, ... ... 11-14, 2016, in San Diego, will bring together more than 200 of the ... in healthcare for the future. , “The true benefit of the Forum is ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... AxoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AXGN), a leading medical technology ... quarter and full year ended December 31, 2015 on Monday, February 29, 2016 after ... the investment community following the release at 4:30 PM ET. Investors interested in participating ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... to effectively measure change in their patients. Research shows that the Goal Attainment ... To help therapists overcome this challenge and learn more about the Goal Attainment ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  CVS Health (NYSE: ... living in Santa Clara County, CA ... on the Santa Clara University campus. CVS Pharmacy stores ... protect patients against the disease. Students at Santa Clara ... get vaccinated. In addition, anyone who has had close ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... LOS ANGELES , Feb. 10, 2016  Oxis ... blood cancer drug, OXS-1550, was described as a "clinical ... with the drug went into complete cancer remission. ... the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center. ... the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Feb. 10, 2016  LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, a ... announced the launch of LexisNexis Provider Performance ... helps improve and optimize the quality and efficiency ... using severity-adjusted scores. By measuring provider performance through ... to deliver better outcomes, improve the patient experience ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: