Home  |  Top News  |  Most Popular  |  Video  |  Multimedia  |  News Feeds  |  Feedback
  Medicine  |  Nature & Earth  |  Biology  |  Technology & Engineering  |  Space & Planetary  |  Psychology  |  Physics & Chemistry  |  Economics  |  Archaeology
Top > Technology & Engineering > Spiders Spin Possible Solution to… >
Spiders Spin Possible Solution to 'Sticky' Problems

Published: May 16, 2014.
By University of Akron
http://www.uakron.edu/

Researchers at The University of Akron are again spinning inspiration from spider silk—this time to create more efficient and stronger commercial and biomedical adhesives that could, for example, potentially attach tendons to bones or bind fractures.

These are electrospun polyurethane synthetic attachment discs. Credit: The University of Akron

The Akron scientists created synthetic duplicates of the super-sticky, silk "attachment discs" that spiders use to attach their webs to surfaces. These discs are created when spiders pin down an underlying thread of silk with additional threads, like stiches or staples, explains Ali Dhinojwala, UA's H. A. Morton professor of polymer science and lead researcher on the project. This "staple-pin" geometry of the attachment disc creates a strong attachment force using little material, he adds.

Through electrospinning, a process by which an electrical charge is used to draw very fine fibers from a liquid (in this case, polyurethane), Dhinojwala and his team were able to mimic the efficient staple-pin design, pinning down an underlying nylon thread with the electrospun fibers.

"This adhesive architecture holds promise for potential applications in the area of adhesion science, particularly in the field of biomedicine where the cost of the materials is a significant constraint," the authors write in their paper, "Synthetic Adhesive Attachment Discs Inspired by Spider's Pyriform Silk Architecture," published online March 1 in the Journal of Polymer Physics.

Dhinojwala adds that the design could potentially be used, in addition to medical applications, to create commercial adhesives stronger than conventional glue and tape.

"Instead of using big globs of glue, for example, we can use this unique and efficient design of threads pinning down a fiber," he says. "The inspiration was right in front of us, in nature."

"You can learn a lot of science from nature," adds Dharamdeep Jain, graduate student and co-author of the paper.

Indeed, researchers at UA have been learning quite a bit from nature's silk-spinning artists.

Dhinojwala and Vasav Sahni, former graduate student and third co-author of the aforementioned paper, previously worked together to study the adhesive properties of spider silk; and last year Todd Blackledge, Leuchtag Endowed Chair and associate professor of biology and integrated bioscience at UA, revealed the possibilities of using silk to develop materials that are as strong as steel and yet flexible as rubber.



Translate this page: Chinese French German Italian Japanese Korean Portuguese Russian Spanish


 
All comments are reviewed before being posted. We cannot accept messages that refer a product, or web site.If you are looking for a response to a question please use our another feedback page.
Related »

Particles 
2/19/14 

Gecko-inspired Adhesion: Self-cleaning And Reliable
By Helmholtz Association
Ziaie 
11/20/12 

Scotch Tape Finds New Use as Grasping 'Smart Material'
By Purdue University
Water 
4/28/14 
A Water Test for the World
By McMaster University
HAMILTON, April 28, 2014 – Inspiration can come in many forms, but this one truly was a breath of fresh air. A group of McMaster researchers has solved …
More » 
 
© Newsline Group  |  About  |  Privacy Policy  |  Feedback  |  Mobile  |  Japanese Edition