Wet performance of biomimetic fibrillar adhesives

K. H. A. Lau, P. B. Messersmith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A number of legged organisms have evolved sophisticated, fibrillar attachment schemes that exhibit functional qualities highly desirable in synthetic reversible adhesives: substrate compliance, high adhesive strength, and sustained performance over many attach/release cycles ( Creton and Gorb, 2007 ; Peattie, 2008). While a number of early synthetic mimics of fibrillar adhesives as well as the biological systems that inspired them are effective in ambient or low humidity environments, they are less effective in highly humid environments and function poorly in the presence of excess water. Yet, adhesives that function well under wet conditions are greatly desired for numerous industrial and consumer adhesive applications, as well as for biomedical uses ( Yanik, 2009 ). This review chapter summarizes recent efforts in adapting or combining features of multiple biological adhesive strategies to develop biomimetic systems with enhanced wet adhesive performance. On-going research and development efforts are anticipated to lead to practical implementations of wet adhesives for a variety of uses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiological Adhesive Systems
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Nature to Technical and Medical Application
EditorsD. Fac, Ingo Grunwald
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783709101414
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2010


  • elastomer friction
  • biological attachment devices
  • gecko
  • foot-hair
  • mytilus-edulis
  • microfiber arrays
  • design
  • setae
  • dry fabrication


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