Adhesives fall broadly into two categories, working either through chemical bonding or attraction at the interface, or through mechanical interlocking to ensure that surfaces stick together. Finding an adhesive in either of these categories that works under dry conditions and when immersed in liquids, and isn’t readily contaminated, is an ongoing challenge. Changhyun Pang and colleagues have taken inspiration from the shape of octopus suckers to develop and fabricate a textured polymer patch that adheres through mechanical deformation. The patch displays good adhesive properties in various media, yet is resistant to chemical contamination.
- How to suck like an octopus (News & Views p358, doi: 10.1038/546358a)
- A wet-tolerant adhesive patch inspired by protuberances in suction cups of octopi (Letter p396, doi: 10.1038/nature22382)
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