Monday, 22 October 2012

Mussels' Stickiness May Lead to Smarter Medical Glues

 (ISNS) -- Mussels may be tasty, but for a growing set of researchers, they are also an inspiration. Their bodies spin out a fine silky thread that helps the creatures hold tight onto rocks, ship hulls, and even whales. Researchers believe that sticky substance can offer important insights for developing new adhesives.
Emily Carrington, a marine ecologist at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island, has worked on the biology of mussel fibers for years. She noticed that natural mussel populations had a difficult time clinging to surfaces during the warmer summer months.
"Mussel silk is a thin, collagen-like protein, which the mussels mold in their foot one strand at a time, and make many make a radial array which tethers to rocks and ropes," said Carrington.

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