Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Akron have used their knowledge of what makes geckos stick to create a carpet of super-sticky carbon nanotubes that could form the basis for future types of adhesives.
Wired News article reports.
It’s not a new story that Gecko’s have special feet and that science is interested in finding ways to use that extrodinary use of the van der Waals force. In 2003 I saw a tv report on it you cab still watch on the VPRO website and read about it on the Lewis and Clark College website.
The conclusional end of the story on wired:
Dhinojwala and his team will now work toward building the nanotube carpets on a larger scale — larger in this case being 1 centimeter square. Success in the lab could translate into [[tt:adhesives]] that would work better in the vacuum of outer space than currently available [[tt:adhesives]]. Astronauts might one day float through the void grabbing essential equipment with the help of gloves enhanced with nanotube-tipped fingers.
Or, if the adhesive force is strong enough, perhaps such gloves would even work here on Earth to let humans live out their fantasy of climbing walls like a spider — or even a [[tt:gecko]].
Foto: Paul D. Stewart