Navigation Links
Even geckos can lose their grip
Date:7/10/2014

Not even geckos and spiders can sit upside down forever. Nanophysics makes sure of that. Mechanics researchers at Linkping University have demonstrated this in an article just published in Physical Review E. Knowledge that can be of great industrial benefit.

Geckos and spiders that seem to be able to sit still forever, and walk around upside down have fascinated researchers worldwide for many years. We will soon be able to buy smart new fasteners that hold the same way as the gecko's foot. But the fact is, sooner or later the grip is lost, no matter how little force is acting on it. Stefan Lindstrm and Lars Johansson, researchers at the Division of Mechanics, Linkping University, together with Nils Karlsson, recent engineering graduate, have demonstrated this in an article just published in Physical Review E.

Still, it's a phenomenon that can have considerable benefits, for instance in the production of graphene. Graphene consists only of one layer of atom, and which must be easily detached from the substrate.

In his graduation project at the Division of Mechanics, Nils Karlsson studied both the mechanics of the gecko's leg as well as the adhesion of its foot to the substrate. The gecko's foot has five toes, all with transverse lamellae. A scanning electron microscope shows that these lamellae consist of a number of small hair-like setae, each with a little film at the end, which resembles a small spatula. These spatulae, roughly 10 nm thick, are what adheres to the substrate.

"At the nano level, conditions are a bit different. The movement of the molecules is negligible in our macroscopic world, but it's not in the nano world. Nils Karlsson's graduation project suggested that heat, and consequently the movement of the molecules, has an effect on the adhesion of these spatulae. We wanted to do further analyses, and calculate what actually happens," explains Stefan Lindstrm.

They refined the calculations, so they applied to a thin film in contact with an uneven surface. So, the film only contacts the uppermost parts of the uneven surface. The researchers also chose to limit the calculations to the type of weak forces that exist between all atoms and molecules van der Waals forces.

"It's true, they are small, but they are always there and we know that they are extremely reliant on distance," says Lars Johansson.

This means that the force is much stronger where the film is very close to a single high point, than when it is quite close to a number of high points. Then, when the film detaches, it does this point by point. This is because both contact surfaces are moving vibrating. These are tiny movements, but at some stage the movements are in sync, so the surfaces actually lose contact. Then the van der Waals force is so small that the film releases.

"So in reality, we can detach a thin film from the substrate simply by waiting for the right moment. This doesn't require a great deal of force. The part of the film that remains on the substrate vibrates constantly, and the harder I pull on this part, the faster the film will detach. But how long it takes for the film to detach also depends on the structure of the substrate and the film's stiffness," says Stefan Lindstrm.

In practice this means that even a small force over a long period will cause the film, or for that matter the gecko's foot, to lose its grip. Which is fine for the gecko, who can scoot off, but maybe not so good for a fastening system. Still in the right application, this knowledge can be of great industrial benefit.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stefan Lindström
stefan.lindstrom@liu.se
46-013-281-127
Linkping University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. In new quantum-dot LED design, researchers turn troublesome molecules to their advantage
2. Clionsky Neuro Systems (CNS-Neuro) Announces Publication of Study Finding Elderly Patients Unable to Recognize Their Memory Loss
3. Nano-oils keep their cool
4. UK company to demonstrate their commercially effective graphene production process
5. JH Technologies Announces Launch of Their New Website
6. "Just Label It" condemns dangerous riders snuck into the Farm Bill by chemical companies working to keep Americans in the dark about their food
7. Oncobiologics, Inc. Announces a Collaboration Agreement with XOMA Corporation to Utilize XOMAs Fully Human Antibody Libraries for Their Discovery Platform
8. Former FDA Inspectors Train Medical Device, Pharmaceutical Companies How to Prepare for FDA Inspections of Their Quality Systems
9. Imprisoned molecules quantum rattle in their cages
10. FDA, NIH and Genzyme Reveal Their Strategies to Overcome Viral Contamination at the Pathogen Safety Summit
11. New England Cord Blood Bank chooses Sepax 2 from Biosafe as their Cord Blood Processing Platform
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Even geckos can lose their grip
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, ... and biotechnology industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will now ... testing are being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... in its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous ... RNA guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Md. (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... digital pathology, announced today it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is ... Advanced Pathology Associates , on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are ... 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by ... in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Janice Kephart , ... Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues ... President Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: ... vetting can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling ... all refugee applications are suspended by until at ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 According to a new ... Authentication, Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, ... IAM Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 ... (CAGR) of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... -- Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, ... (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / ... Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality ... looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):