Volume 95 Issue 8 | p. 7 | News of The Week
Issue Date: February 20, 2017 | Web Date: February 15, 2017

Mussel glues rely on cation-aromatic attraction

Protein adhesives that anchor the shellfish to rocks get their strength from cation-π interactions between amino acids, study suggests
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE, Organic SCENE, Materials SCENE
Keywords: adhesives, biobased materials, mussels, Dopa, catechol, cation-π, critter chemistry

Mussels and other sea creatures that live along rocky shores often rely on special biological glues to fasten their soft tissues to rocks. These adhesives cure underwater and are strong enough to withstand the relentless forces of pounding waves. Scientists study the chemistry of these sticky proteins in hopes of producing new biomaterials, such as medical adhesives to attach muscle to bone during surgeries.

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