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J Biomed Nanotechnol 2009 Jun 01;53:294-9. doi: 10.1166/jbn.2009.1034.
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Nanoparticles to increase adhesive properties of biologically secreted materials for surface affixing.

Zhang M , Liu M , Bewick S , Suo Z .

Surface adhesion in nature has been the focus of intense study over the past few years. Nevertheless, research in this field has primarily concentrated on understanding the chemical aspects of adhesion. While scientists have been able to determine some of the molecular structures present in the adhesives secreted by surface climbing or surface affixing biological systems such as mussels and barnacles, the fundamental adhesion mechanisms used by these systems are still unknown. This research paper focuses on the nano-scale morphological similarities of adhesive materials secreted from marine mussels, barnacles and ivy. We discovered that marine mussels secrete large amounts of adhesive materials in the form of nanoparticles for surface adhesion. This is in keeping with our previous work, which indicated a similar phenomenon for ivy. Both studies concur with earlier research on marine barnacles, polychaetes and sea stars. Taken together, these results indicate that nanoparticles are used by natural, biological systems to increase surface adhesion. These nanoparticle surface adhesion mechanisms have important implications in terms of engineering surface adhesive materials and devices.

PubMed ID: 20055011
Article link: J Biomed Nanotechnol

Genes referenced: LOC100887844 LOC115925415