Adhesive-Coated Boots Make Spiderman’s Feats Feasible

Posted on 2/22/2017 1:31:08 PM By ASC

German researchers have been developing an adhesive containing azobenzene. The new adhesive will allow people to adhere to surfaces just as Spiderman does, and the scientists say that a 20-centimeter square piece will be enough to support the weight of a man.

As with many other adhesives, the material is inspired by nature, and once again, the gecko’s ability to stick to surfaces is being mimicked. A textured material developed to copy the structure of a gecko's foot will be combined with the azobenzene adhesive. The invention has been dubbed the “Bioinspired Photocontrollable Microstructures Transport Device” or BIPMTD.

Exposure to UV light will allow the adhesive to release its bond without leaving any residue. When the UV light is off, the material regains its adhesive properties.  Although the Spiderman stunt hasn’t yet been attempted using humans, the new material has already been tested on a range of substrates.