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Adhesives at the Beach 
Friday, 09 November 2018,  4:00
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Adhesives at the Beach

Prof. Jonathan Wilker

Department of Chemistryand School of Materials Engineering, Purdue University West Lafayette, Indiana,USA

Short abstract:

Imagine trying to live at the beach, constantly being pounded by waves. Nature has developed intriguing classes of adhesives for allowing mussels, barnacles, oysters, and starfish to stay in place. By contrast, consider all of the adhesives that you can buy at the hardware store. None will function well in water. How do these animals stick in such an environment? What can we do with this technology once we understand it? Our research group is working to uncover the secrets of how shellfish bond and construct reef communities. We are then using these insights for the development of biomimetic materials. In doing so we have developed new materials that can bond more strongly than Super Glue. These materials also appear to be one of the strongest underwater adhesives seen to date. There are many needs for such new systems. Surgical connection of tissues will be less traumatic when we can transition from sutures, staples, and screws to biocompatible adhesives. Replacing the carcinogens in plywood and fiberboard adhesives will have significant health impacts. Other applications of focus include creating debonding adhesives for electronics to enable recycling, making replacements for the toxic glues used in cosmetics, and developing underwater adhesives to aid coral reef restoration efforts.

Location ICN2 Seminar Room
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