Confocal microscopy-based goniometry of barnacle cyprid permanent adhesive.
Biological adhesives are materials of particular interest in the fields of bio-inspired technology and antifouling research. The adhesive of adult barnacles has received much attention over the years; however, the permanent adhesive of the cyprid - the colonisation stage of barnacles - is a material about which very little is presently known. We applied confocal laser-scanning microscopy to the measurement of contact angles between the permanent adhesive of barnacle cyprid larvae and self-assembled monolayers of OH- and CH3-terminated thiols. Measurement of contact angles between actual bioadhesives and surfaces has never previously been achieved and the data may provide insight into the physicochemical properties and mechanism of action of these functional materials. The adhesive is a dual-phase system post-secretion, with the behaviour of the components governed separately by the surface chemistry. The findings imply that the cyprid permanent adhesion process is more complex than previously thought, necessitating broad re-evaluation of the system. Improved understanding will have significant implications for the production of barnacle-resistant coatings as well as development of bio-inspired glues for niche applications.
Aldred, N; Gohad, NV; Petrone, L; Orihuela, B; Liedberg, B; Ederth, T; Mount, A; Rittschof, D; Clare, AS
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