Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Gel-Based Glue Fastens Snails to Wet Surfaces, Model for Surgical Adhesive

Abstract:
A species of slug (Arion subfuscus) produces a defensive gel it can chemically convert into a remarkably strong glue. Similar gel-based glues attach some snails firmly onto slippery rocks; tools are needed to pry them off. The tenacity of these glues on wet surfaces is difficult to match with artificial adhesives. Following up on their original research identifying the key characteristics controlling this transition from a water-based gel into a powerful yet flexible adhesive, researchers at Ithaca College have shed new light on the nature of the adhesive mechanism.

Gel-Based Glue Fastens Snails to Wet Surfaces, Model for Surgical Adhesive

Ithaca, NY | Posted on May 2nd, 2009

"The strength of the natural adhesive comes from the way long, rope-like polymers chemically tie together, or cross link, at certain points," said Andrew Smith, associate professor of biology. "In our previous studies we had shown that metals were essential to the formation of cross-links. This is unusual, as some combination of electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions are commonly responsible for the formation of cross-links in other gels."

Electrostatic interactions occur when a negatively charged group on one polymer is attracted to a positively charged group on another. Hydrophobic interactions take place when regions of a polymer don't interact with water, so they stick together to avoid contacting water.

"We used several approaches to break these interactions, and the treatments that normally disrupt them had no impact on the glue's mechanical integrity or ability to set," Smith said. "Our study conclusively showed that electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions do not play any detectable role. Removing metals alone caused the glue to fall apart. This was exciting and unexpected."

Removing the metals, however, didn't completely break down the gel. The researchers discovered that a specific protein was responsible for forming strong cross-links that were unaffected when the metals were removed after the glue set. But when metals were removed before the glue set, the cross-links didn't form.
"This is a very unusual material we're looking at," Smith said. "By discovering that metals are central to forming cross-links, we know there are several intriguing mechanisms that could hold the glue together."

For example, zinc, calcium and iron ions can bind very strongly to several molecules at the same time, thereby effectively joining them together. Iron and copper can also catalyze reactions that trigger strong cross-link formation.

"The significance of this is that we are much farther along the path to our goal of identifying how the glue works so that synthetic mimics can be made," Smith said.

The study, "Robust Cross-links in Molluscan Adhesive Gels: Testing for Contributions from Hydrophobic and Electrostatic Interactions," was published in "Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology-Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Keith Davis
assistant director
media relations
Ithaca College
(607) 274-1153

Copyright © Newswise

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Organometallics welcomes new editor-in-chief: Paul Chirik, Ph.D. July 22nd, 2014

The Hiden EQP Plasma Diagnostic with on-board MCA July 22nd, 2014

Iran to Hold 3rd Int'l Forum on Nanotechnology Economy July 22nd, 2014

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 22nd, 2014

Discoveries

Researchers create vaccine for dust-mite allergies Main Page Content: Vaccine reduced lung inflammation to allergens in lab and animal tests July 22nd, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

Steam from the sun: New spongelike structure converts solar energy into steam July 21st, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Announcements

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 22nd, 2014

Bruker Awarded Fourth PeakForce Tapping Patent: AFM Mode Uniquely Combines Highest Resolution Imaging and Material Property Mapping July 22nd, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE