Arachnid Adhesion: The Sticky Feet Of Spiders
How do spiders walk straight up - even upside down - on any kind of surface? Scientists from Germany and Switzerland used a scanning electron microscope to find out how they do it - and how humans might make sticky things stickier.
This is the first time anyone has actually measured how spiders stick to surfaces; a scanning electron microscope was used to make images of the foot of the spider (see below).
(From Spiders Make Best Ever Post-it Notes)
Spiders have over 600,000 tiny hairs called setules on the bottom of their feet. The secret of spider stickiness (or arachnid adhesion) is that the molecules of the flexible, triangular contact tips of the hairs (see below) are set down so close to the molecules of the surface that van der Waals forces come into play. The van der Waals force is an electrostatic force that acts between two molecules that are very close - within one nanometer.
(From Spiders Make Best Ever Post-it Notes)
The adhesive force of each setule is tiny - but the 600,000 setules generate a force sufficient to hold 170 spiders in place. And, most importantly, it works with any surface, smooth or rough - even wet surfaces. The spider is capable of movement because it releases the setules a few at a time, peeling the foot off the surface.
In William Gibson's 1999 novel All Tomorrow's Parties, urban stores had wall coverings that were self-cleaning. Graffitti seldom lasted more than a few minutes. Naturally, this created the need for smart tags that were so sticky that even self-cleaning walls couldn't take them off.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/27/2004)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.
Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'- Philip K. Dick, 1957.
Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.
Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.' - Philip K. Dick, 1966.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'
BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.
Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.
DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'
I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'
Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'
Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'
Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'
Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!
TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.
Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'
Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?
Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'
Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'
Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.
Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories