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This super strong adhesive can work under water - Read

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 14:11

New Delhi: Scientists, inspired by substances shellfish create to stick to surfaces, have developed a super strong adhesive that works under water.

The bio-based glue performed better than 10 commercial adhesives when used to bond polished aluminium.

When compared with the five strongest commercial glues included in the study, the new adhesive performed better when bonding wood, Teflon and polished aluminium.

It was the only adhesive of those tested that worked with wood and far out-performed the other adhesives when used to join Teflon.

"Our current adhesives are terrible at wet bonding, yet marine biology solved this problem eons ago," said Jonathan Wilker, a professor at Purdue University in the US.

"Mussels, barnacles, and oysters attach to rocks with apparent ease. In order to develop new materials able to bind within harsh environments, we made a biomimetic polymer that is modelled after the adhesive proteins of mussels," said Wilker.

Mussels extend hair-like fibres that attach to surfaces using plaques of adhesive. Proteins in the glue contain the amino acid DOPA, which harbours the chemistry needed to provide strength and adhesion.

Researchers inserted this chemistry of mussel proteins into a biomimetic polymer called poly(catechol-styrene), creating an adhesive by harnessing the chemistry of compounds called catechols, which are contained in DOPA.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 14:11
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