Nature has beautiful examples of organisms that use adhesion for locomotion. We are developing fundamental knowledge of how these systems work in Nature, as well as guiding principles for developing synthetic materials that reproduce many of their attractive properties.
We have developed a robust scaling relationship that clearly identifies the key, governing parameters for the maximum force capacity of a reversible adhesive. This scaling relationship has led to new insight into the enabling mechanisms behind natural and synthetic bio-inspired adhesives as well as to the development of a new adhesive technology we call GeckskinTM.
We work with Prof. Duncan Irschick in the Department of Biology at UMass to understand the important lessons that has allowed Nature to scale adhesion across several orders of size, from beetles to geckos---so that we can produce materials with these properties on size scales that society can use!