Thomas Mozer, Ph.D., President & CEO of Nerites Corporation
MADISON, Wis., July 18 /PRNewswire/ — An article in this week’s Nature magazine focuses on a new Nerites adhesive that combines the sticky prowess of both geckos and mussels, works well on wet and dry surfaces, and can be reused over a thousand times. The adhesive, dubbed “GECKEL(TM)”, was developed by Nerites Scientific Advisor Dr. Phillip Messersmith at Northwestern University’s Biomedical Engineering Department.
“Like our mussel derived synthetic adhesives, we believe these new GECKEL adhesives will complement our developing portfolio of innovative products,” said Thomas J. Mozer, Ph.D., President and CEO of Nerites Corporation. “This technology will help us develop medical devices with a wide variety of unique applications.”
The specialized foot hairs of a gecko give the animal its ability to hang on to surfaces upside down with a temporary adhesion that allows the gecko to walk. By creating tiny nanostructures very similar to these hairs, scientists have captured these properties in synthetic mimics. However the maintenance of adhesive performance over many cycles has been elusive and greatly diminished upon full immersion in water. The GECKEL adhesive contains an array of pillars resembling the geckos’ foot hairs. To improve adhesion and durability, Dr. Messersmith coated the pillar with a thin layer of a different synthetic polymer, developed in his labs, that mimics the wet adhesive proteins found in mussel holdfasts. In addition to a 15-fold increase in wet adhesion, the system maintained its adhesive performance for over a thousand contact cycles in both dry and wet environments.
About Nerites: Nerites Corporation develops novel tissue repair products and coatings that prevent bacterial adhesion to medical devices base on unique water resistant adhesive technology. These synthetic hair-like compounds are based upon research by Dr. Phil Messersmith at Northwestern University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering on how marine mussels bind to surfaces underwater. This research is a breakthrough advance in biologically-compatible adhesives that provide completely new options for tissue repair, skin adhesives, and device coatings. Nerites is based in Madison, Wisconsin. (http://www.nerites.com/)