Karp then added a very thin layer of an adhesive based on sugar, in order to create a strong bond even to a wet surface. The resulting bandage is something we never expect to remove, said Karp. Because of this difference, he continued, we are not mimicking the gecko – which has sticky feet but can still lift them up to walk – we are inspired by the gecko to create a patterned surface to improve the surface of the contact, and thus the overall strength of adhesion. .
Gecko-like dry adhesives have been around since about 2001 have been, but there was a big challenge for this technology for medical applications given the strict design criteria required to adapt. For use in the body, they must be adapted to adhere to a moist environment formed formed of materials adapted for medical applications. Such materials must be biocompatible, that is they do not cause inflammation; biodegradable, ie, they dissolve over time, without toxic substances, and elastic, bandage they correspond to and stretch with the body’s tissues. The MIT researchers met these requirements by building their medical adhesive with a ‘biorubber ‘by Karp, Langer and others invented. Continue reading