Better than a Gecko

Kristin: Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and the University of Akron – Ohio, have created synthetic “gecko tape” (see news article pointed out by the Foresight Nanotech Institute). The team manufactured a polymer surface covered in carbon nanotubes that imitate the microscopic hairs on a gecko’s footpad. These work by forming weak bonds on contact that can be broken through movement. The team have transformed this polymer into a flexible patch that can stick and re-stick with up to four times the ’stickability’ of a gecko’s foot. Spiderman suits can’t be far away – good news for students designing superhero suits as part of the SHINE year 10 nanotechnology elective (see Module 3 in the Teacher’s section).

Originally published on Blog@NanoVic for Nanotechnology Victoria.

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