Gecko-inspired glue

Discuss

11 Responses to “Gecko-inspired glue”

  1. Brad S. says:

    That is definitely the coolest thing I’ve read about all day. Thanks, David!

  2. Brainspore says:

    I get my spider-man gloves when now?

  3. Aneurysm says:

    Yay, for biomimicry and 2 billion years worth of design solutions!

    However, I’m still wary of the potential toxicity of carbon nanotubes…

  4. Normandy says:

    I heard of this first in this TED talk by Robert Full.

    The talk is about animal movement and designing a foot. It is apparent that gecko movement is clearly superior to the human anatomy. True, it might be dangerous but same goes for nuclear power plants. Do we stop advancing because it gets too dangerous?

  5. AirPillo says:

    Replace solder?

    I know carbon can be conductive (graphite electrodes are tons of fun to play with) but isn’t a maze of microscopic carbon tubes bound to have a hell of a lot more resistance than a glob of conductive metal?

  6. Hagrid says:

    Ummmm… I hate to throw cold water on a cool idea, but what of the possibility that broken carbon nanotubes are as dangerous to our lungs as asbestos?

    Do we need more research here?

    Just being cautious.

  7. Gail Carriger says:

    There’s a great podcast from NPR on a similar subject: Gecko Toes Inspire Design of New Medical Bandage, for anyone who is interested.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=19279821

  8. Brainspore says:

    Ummmm… I hate to throw cold water on a cool idea, but what of the possibility that broken carbon nanotubes are as dangerous to our lungs as asbestos?

    Do we need more research here?

    More research never hurts, but if it were really deadly I imagine we’d see all kinds of respiratory ailments among herpetologists.

  9. Anonymous says:

    So….

    Nano-tech velcro?

    Also, given that most glue is designed to also withstand the perpendicular force, I don’t see Krazy Glue going out of business over this. Of course, those Command strips that hold pictures on your wall might…

  10. Thinkerer says:

    There have been a number of interesting variations on this, some more successful than others. What the geckos still have on humans is keeping those pads clean as they go — none of the biomimetic surfaces tolerate contamination and don’t self-clean under use as the originals do. A decade or so of hard work and good science not up to eons of evolution quite yet.

  11. David Pescovitz says:

    GAIL @5, Thank you for that link! Very interesting.

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