Irschick and Colleagues Create a New Adhesive Inspired By Gecko Feet

Biology professor Duncan J. Irschick and his colleagues Al Crosby and Michael Bartlett from the Polymer Sciences Department have just published a paper in the journal Advanced Materials which shows how mimicking the anatomy of gecko feet creates a new dry adhesive ("Geckskin™") with unparalleled adhesion. A 4 x 4 inch pad of Geckskin™ can fasten about 700 lbs. to a smooth surface, such as glass, yet can be peeled off easily with one's fingers and reattached with no loss of adhesive ability. The material's design involved the creation of fake "tendon" and "skin" which are integrated with a pad that adheres to a surface using van der Waals forces, just like a gecko's foot does. This work is the first clear demonstration of the "up-scaling" gecko-style adhesion, and presents many exciting possibilities for human applications, ranging from construction to medicine.

The paper can be accessed here.

Some media coverage:

From Channel 40

From the Daily Mail

From Wired Magazine

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