Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Spiders spin possible solution to 'sticky' problems

19.05.2014

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.

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 spider is an Achaearanea tepidariorum.

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.

Biomedical applications possible

“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, a 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.

Story by Nicholas Nussen

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or henryd@uakron.edu.

Denise Henry | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Architecture Attachment Biomedical Physics Polymer biomedicine rubber spin surfaces

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Dendrite eraser: New electrolyte rids batteries of short-circuiting fibers
25.02.2015 | DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

nachricht Researchers enable solar cells to use more sunlight
25.02.2015 | Universität Luxemburg - Université du Luxembourg

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

European Geosciences Union meeting: programme online, provisional press conference topics

26.02.2015 | Event News

Round Table on Solar Energy Research

18.02.2015 | Event News

40th FEBS Congress 2015 – The Biochemical Basis of Life

09.02.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Siemens highlights cost-cutting innovations for offshore wind at European trade show

26.02.2015 | Trade Fair News

Greater productivity in industry thanks to digitalization

26.02.2015 | HANNOVER MESSE

Ultra-Thin Nanowires Can Trap Electron ‘Twisters’ That Disrupt Superconductors

26.02.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>