Frogs Hold the Secret to Reversible Adhesives for High-Speed Application

Posted on 3/1/2017 12:34:15 PM By ASC

Nature has been an inspiration for many scientific and technical advances, and now frogs may be pointing the way towards yet another advance in adhesives technology. In a recent discovery, frog saliva has been found to act as a non-Newtonian fluid that can act as both a liquid and a solid. This adhesive tolerates forces twelve times that of an object’s gravity, allowing frogs to catch creatures nearly one and a half times their body weight.

The frog’s viscous saliva liquefies on contact solidifying instantly to form a bond that penetrates every crevice on a surface. The action of the tongue itself also plays a role, absorbing energy and ensuring good coverage on the surface it contacts. Then, the tongue retracts, and the frog saliva slips off, allowing the frog to swallow its prey. The combined action of tongue and saliva result in adhesion that is fifty times greater than that of current synthetic polymer materials and could become the principle behind reversible adhesives for high-speed application.