Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sticking power: New adhesive could find place in space

Date:
March 24, 2011
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
A new adhesive peptide becomes stronger as more moisture is removed. This property could allow it to be used in a low-moisture environment like outer space. Also, the adhesion is mechanical rather than chemical. It develops nanoscale fibrils that become entangled, similar to Velcro.

A recently patented adhesive made by Kansas State University researchers could become a staple in every astronaut's toolbox.

Related Articles


The patent, "pH dependent adhesive peptides," was issued to the Kansas State University Research Foundation.*

It was created by John Tomich, professor of biochemistry, and Xiuzhi "Susan" Sun, professor of grain science and industry. Assisting in the research was Takeo Iwamoto, an adjunct professor in biochemistry, and Xinchun Shen, a former postdoctoral researcher.

"The adhesive we ended up developing was one that formed nanoscale fibrils that become entangled, sort of like Velcro. It has all these little hooks that come together," Tomich said. "It's a mechanical type of adhesion, though, not a chemical type like most commercial adhesives."

Because of its unusual properties, applications will most likely be outside the commercial sector, Tomich said.

For example, unlike most adhesives that become brittle as moisture levels decrease, the K-State adhesive's bond only becomes stronger. Because of this, it could be useful in low-moisture environments like outer space, where astronauts could use it to reattach tiles to a space shuttle.

Conversely, its deterioration from water could also serve a purpose.

"It could be used as a timing device or as a moisture detection device," Tomich said. "There could be a circuit or something that when the moisture got to a certain level, the adhesive would fail and break the circuit, sounding an alarm."

The project began nearly a decade ago as Sun and a postdoctal researcher were studying the adhesive properties of soybean proteins. Needing an instrument to synthesize protein peptides, Sun contacted Tomich.

Serendipitously, Tomich's lab had developed a peptide some time ago that had cement-like properties. Tomich said he knew it was unusual but had set it aside to pursue other interests.

"When Dr. Sun and I resurrected this protein, we didn't use the whole thing -- just a segment of it," Tomich said. "We isolated a certain segment where the cells are highly attracted to each other and form these fibrils."

Since their collaboration Tomich has taken the same sequence and changed the way it was designed. The new peptide, he said, will have an eye toward gene therapy.

Sun's lab is trying to optimize the sequence against adhesion, as well as study how peptide sequences influence adhesion properties and surface energy.

"I continue studying protein structures and functional properties in terms of adhesion -- folding, aggregation, surface energy and gelling properties -- so we can rationally design and develop biobased adhesives using plant proteins," she said.

*Kansas State University Research Foundation is a nonprofit corporation responsible for managing technology transfer activities of K-State. The research foundation is working with the National Institute for Strategic Technology Acquisition and Commercialization to license the patent. The patent covers an adhesive made from peptides -- a compound containing two or more amino acids that link together -- that increases in strength as moisture is removed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Sticking power: New adhesive could find place in space." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110323104735.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2011, March 24). Sticking power: New adhesive could find place in space. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110323104735.htm
Kansas State University. "Sticking power: New adhesive could find place in space." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110323104735.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) A virtual flying enthusiast converts parts of a written-off Airbus aircraft into a working flight simulator in his northern Slovenian home. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins