(55d) Recent Advances in Mussel-Inspired Wet Adhesion | AIChE

(55d) Recent Advances in Mussel-Inspired Wet Adhesion


Ahn, K. - Presenter, University of Central Florida
Nature employs sophisticated control of a structure’s properties at multiple length scales to achieve its wet adhesion. However, the translation of such structures has very often been missing in biomimetic adhesives; in turn, their performance is significantly limited as compared to that of biological adhesion, e.g., from mussels. In this presentation, we will overview the major breakthroughs in this field, highlighting the recent advances that demonstrate that holistic multiscale translation is essential to biomimetic design. We argue that the multiscale coordination of numerous key elements in the natural adhesive system is essential to replicate the strong, instant, and durable wet adhesion of the marine sessile organism. For example, inspired by cation-π interactions shown in marine mussel's interfacial chemistry, we present an effective synthetic biomimetic wet adhesive with cohesive strength conferred through electrostatic interactions from cation-aromatic interactions. The homopolymer and copolymer films synthesized with imidazolium and benzyl functionalization demonstrated wet contact adhesion in a phosphate-buffered saline up to ~18N/cm2 (at a 5s contact time), significantly exceeding that of a commercial pressure-sensitive adhesive in dry conditions. Our polymers exhibit strong performance in a wide range of pH and ionic strength conditions and is able to strongly bond at a short contact time; these qualities are unique among marine-inspired adhesive designs and suggest suitability for biomedical applications. This presentation will also introduce a commercial product using this wet tack technology.