Microhooks Allow Adhesive to Form Bonds in Wet Environments

Posted on 8/7/2018 2:01:48 PM By ASC

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)Professor Hoon-EuiJeong believes that he has found the formula for an adhesive that will be even better than the substances that allow shellfish to stick to rocks. He says that his adhesive doesn’t require any chemical surface preparation and can be removed easily if it dries out.

ProfessorJeong attributes these properties to the mushroom-like microhooks that are responsible for bond formation.


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The hydrogel formulation chosen by the research team forms these microscopic structures. When the environment is wet, the microhooks expand and interlock, forming a strong bond. In dry environments, they will shrink, weakening the bond. The degree to which they swell can be controlled by choosing hydrogels with different molecular weights.

The research team believes that its discovery could be useful in the formulation of future biomedical adhesives and for the repair of underwater equipment.

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