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.

Related Articles


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 April 21, 2015 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 April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) Thai customs seize four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth $6 million at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). 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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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