HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Beetle-inspired switch uses water for bonding

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Imagine this: A tiny, fast switch that uses water droplets to create adhesive bonds almost as strong as aluminum by borrowing a mechanism found in palm beetles.

The new beetle-inspired switch, designed by Cornell University engineers, can work by itself on the scale of a micron -- a millionth of a meter. The switches can be combined in arrays for larger applications like powerful adhesive bonding. Like the transistor, whose varied uses became apparent only following its invention, the uses of the new switch are not yet understood. But the switch's simplicity, smallness and speed have enormous potential, according to the researchers.

"Almost all the greatest technological advances have depended on switches, and this is a switch that is fast and can be scaled down," said Paul Steen, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Cornell and co-author of a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Vol. 102, No. 34).

Steen dreamed up the idea of the switch after listening to Cornell entomologist Tom Eisner lecture on palm beetles, which are native to the southeastern United States.

Like the beetle, which clings to a palm leaf at adhesive strengths equal to a hundred times its own body weight -- the human equivalent of carrying seven cars -- the switch in its most basic form uses surface tension created by water droplets in contact with a surface, in much the same way as two pieces of wet paper cling together.

When attacked, the palm beetle attaches itself to a leaf until the attacker leaves. It adheres with 120,000 droplets of secreted oil, each making a bridgelike contact between the beetle's feet and the leaf. Each droplet is just a few microns wide. Whereas the beetle controls the oil contacts mechanically, Steen's switch uses water and electricity.

For the switch to make or release a bond created by surface tension, a water droplet moves to the top or bottom of a flat pl
'"/>

Contact: Nicola Pytell
nwp2@cornell.edu
607-254-6236
Cornell University News Service
22-Aug-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. U-M researchers find family of on switches that cause prostate cancer
2. Scientists find stem cell switch
3. Illinois-based study of energy crops finds miscanthus more productive than switchgrass
4. Scientists find brown fat master switch
5. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a general control switch for protein activity
6. U-M researchers discover gene switched off in cancer can be turned on
7. Babies able to tell through visual cues when speakers switch languages: UBC study
8. Exercise pill switches on gene that tells cells to burn fat
9. Structural basis for photoswitching in fluorescent proteins brought into focus
10. Discovery of master switch for the communication process between chloroplast and nuclei of plants
11. Beyond the DNA: Chemical signatures reveal genetic switches in the genome

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/26/2019)... ... May 24, 2019 , ... Zolgensma (Novartis, AveXis), an AAV-delivered gene therapy ... clinical use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration today. ... treat inherited genetic disorders in the United States and the second-ever approved treatment for ...
(Date:5/23/2019)... ... May 23, 2019 , ... Inference ... and service organizations, today announced its inclusion in DMG Consulting’s 2019-2020 Intelligent Virtual ... virtual agent (IVA) market share leader, based on number of customers, with 15.8% ...
(Date:5/21/2019)... ... May 21, 2019 , ... Suvoda LLC , a SaaS ... management, has been named one of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces for 2019, Inc.’s fourth ... now featured on Inc.com and hitting the newsstands on May 28, is the result ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... 10, 2019 , ... DeepDyve and IOP ... to DeepDyve’s rental service for peer-reviewed journals. , IOPP’s portfolio represents an ... 20 million articles, sourced from more than 15,000 journals. , “By partnering with ...
(Date:6/6/2019)... ... June 05, 2019 , ... WCCT Global, Inc ., a ... announced today that they will be receiving 3 awards at the 2019 CRO Leadership ... 2 awards in the categories of overall Quality and Compatibility (Access to desired markets, ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... May 30, 2019 , ... ... of neurotoxins, is pleased to announce the strategic acquisition of Metabiologics, Inc., a ... The acquisition provides Object exclusive ownership and commercialization rights to a full spectrum ...
(Date:5/15/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... May 15, 2019 , ... Milton Hershey ... in recognition for his work within the biomedical industry, where he is changing lives ... medical devices. , “William Harding epitomizes the vision of our founders – Milton ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: