from the urls-we-dig-up dept
When you need some good ideas for solving a problem, sometimes nature already has an answer. For example, the original idea for what became Velcro, the hook-and-loop fastener, was inspired by the burrs of the burdock plant which tend to stick easily to fur and clothing. Here are a few other examples of some very sticky adhesives that were inspired by nature.
- Oxford University researchers have developed a molecular superglue inspired by flesh-eating bacteria. To attach itself to human cells, the Streptococcus pyogenes bacterium uses thin hairs made up of a protein with a 3D structure stabilized by a very strong intramolecular isopeptide bond that can survive boiling in detergent and strong acids.[url]
- Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have created a super-adhesive called “Geckskin” that was inspired by gecko feet. The Geckskin is only about the size of an index card, but it can support a maximum weight of about 700 pounds. It can hold a 42-inch flat screen TV to a wall, and be removed and restuck to another surface many times without leaving a residue.[url]
- Mussels, barnacles, and tubeworms are providing the inspiration for future medical adhesives. Aside from clinging to rocks, mussels can also stick to wood, iron, steel, and even Teflon. [url]
- To discover more interesting biological curiosities, check out what’s currently floating around the StumbleUpon universe. [url]
By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.