Volume 92 Issue 16 | p. 30 | Concentrates
Issue Date: April 21, 2014

Chemical Secrets Of Starfish Stickiness

Researchers study how the sea creature roams its underwater environment without getting swept away
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE, Environmental SCENE, Materials SCENE
Keywords: starfish, mussel, adhesion, biomimicry

Starfish face a tricky challenge: They secrete adhesive from their tube feet to avoid getting swept away by currents, but the material’s stickiness must be reversible so the animal can move around to seek out food. Now, researchers in Belgium report the first analysis of a major protein constituent of these sticky secretions, a step toward developing starfish-inspired adhesives that are reversible on underwater or wet surfaces (Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 2014, DOI: . . .

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