The Latest Attempt At Gecko-Derived Adhesives

July 27th, 2006 | researchmaterial

Just one metre square of a new super-sticky material inspired by gecko feet could suspend the weight of an average family car, say its inventors.

The plastic, known as Synthetic Gecko, has been developed by researchers at aerospace and defence firm BAE Systems. Like the reptile’s foot, the polymer is covered in millions of tiny mushroom-like hairs that provide grip.

Future applications could include an adhesive to repair aircraft, skin grafts or even a Spiderman-style suit.

“It would mean that your local window cleaner could dispense with his ladders and climb up the side of your house,” says Dr Sajad Haq a principle research scientist at the company’s Advanced Technology Centre in Filton, Bristol. “There’s a whole host of applications. It’s just a question of your imagination…”

(Anyone remember “Fractite,” I think it was, from the 90s?)


6 Responses to “The Latest Attempt At Gecko-Derived Adhesives”

  1. Sign me up for the “spiderman style suit”

  2. And cat-burglars worldwide squee in anticipation.

  3. Damn, Richard Morgan got genemod geckofeet into _Broken Angels_ already.

  4. what was “Fractite”?

    google searches give me nothing.

  5. if it’s so strong that it will hold up a car, how can you make a spider-man suit out of it? once you hit the wall, aren’t you, like, stuck?

    that being said, gyms that offer ‘wall-crawling’ fitness classes will probably become all the rage.

  6. If you peel it off, it comes away easily, apparently. Just pull on it and it stays stuck.

    I spoke to Jeff Sargent, the other of the researchers, about this. He’s very keen to stress that it’s nowhere near commercialisation yet, but most of the journos covering it are equally keen not to mention that.