Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Understanding mussels' stickiness could lead to better surgical and underwater glues

Date:
June 4, 2014
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Mussels might be a welcome addition to a hearty seafood stew, but their notorious ability to attach themselves to ships' hulls, as well as to piers and moorings, makes them an unwelcome sight and smell for boaters and swimmers. Now, researchers report a clearer understanding of how mussels stick to surfaces, which could lead to new classes of adhesives that will work underwater and even inside the body.

Mussel shells clinging to rocks by the sea.
Credit: fotocociredef73 / Fotolia

Mussels might be a welcome addition to a hearty seafood stew, but their notorious ability to attach themselves to ships' hulls, as well as to piers and moorings, makes them an unwelcome sight and smell for boaters and swimmers. Now, researchers report in ACS' journal Langmuir a clearer understanding of how mussels stick to surfaces, which could lead to new classes of adhesives that will work underwater and even inside the body.

Shabeer Ahmad Mian and colleagues note that mussels have a remarkable knack for clinging onto solid surfaces underwater. That can make them a real nuisance to recreational boaters and professional fishermen, who have to scrape the hitchhikers off their vessels to help them run more efficiently. Some types of mussels can even plug up drinking water pipes. Mussels also can stick to materials with nonstick coatings.

Although researchers have already developed mussel-inspired glues, they still don't have a full understanding of exactly how these critters stick so well to underwater surfaces. So, Mian's team set out to investigate this mystery in painstaking detail to improve these adhesives and to develop new ones.

Using complex calculations and simulations, they determined that one part of the mussel "glue" molecule, called catechol, pushes water molecules out of the way to bind directly to wide variety of surfaces. They say that this study provides a clear picture of the first step of mussel adhesion, which could pave the way for better adhesives for many applications, such as for use in surgeries. The adhesives can be nontoxic and biocompatible, says Mian.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shabeer Ahmad Mian, Li-Ming Yang, Leton Chandra Saha, E. Ahmed, Muhammad Ajmal, Eric Ganz. A Fundamental Understanding of Catechol and Water Adsorption on a Hydrophilic Silica Surface: Exploring the Underwater Adhesion Mechanism of Mussels on an Atomic Scale. Langmuir, 2014; 140604093205001 DOI: 10.1021/la500800f

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Understanding mussels' stickiness could lead to better surgical and underwater glues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140604105521.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2014, June 4). Understanding mussels' stickiness could lead to better surgical and underwater glues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140604105521.htm
American Chemical Society. "Understanding mussels' stickiness could lead to better surgical and underwater glues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140604105521.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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