Saturday, 22 February 2014

The sticky toes of a gecko inspire new adhesive tape

February 2014: The endless stick-ability of geckos’ feet have inspired researchers to develop a reusable adhesive tape.

A gecko’s feet can stay sticky even on dusty and dirty surfaces, allowing them to scurry up vertical walls and hang from ceilings. This is thanks to millions of tiny hairs on each toe that, through lateral friction contact, maintains a firm grip even on polished glass. Even after repeated contact with dirt and dust their feet still perfectly adhere to smooth surfaces.

“When moving forwards, the gecko‘s toes drag across a part of the surface. As a result of this lateral friction contact, larger dirt particles are removed. Smaller particles deposit among the setae on the sole and in the skinfolds below,” the scientists explain.

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