Spiders Inspire Search for Multi-Purpose Glue
While the common house spider may be creepy, it also has been inspiring researchers to find new and better ways to develop adhesives for human applications, such as wound healing and industrial-strength tape. Think about an adhesive suture strong enough to heal a fractured shoulder and that same adhesive designed with a light tackiness ideal for “ouch-free” bandages.
Univ. of Akron polymer scientists and biologists have discovered that this house spider — in order to more efficiently capture different types of prey — performs an uncommon feat. It tailors one glue to demonstrate two adhesive strengths: firm and weak. Released by Nature Communications, a study by the UA scientists shows that cobweb spiders use adhesive discs to anchor webs to ceilings, walls and various other surfaces. While they use the same glue on all surfaces, they create it using two different designs to give it a strong or weak grip, depending on whether its prey is flying or crawling on the ground.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/10/spiders-inspire-search-multi-purpose-glue