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Confocal microscopy-based goniometry of barnacle cyprid permanent adhesive

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nicholas Aldred, Professor Tony Clare


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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 apply confocal laser-scanning microscopy to the measurement of contact angles between the permanent adhesive of barnacle cypris larvae and self-assembled monolayers of OH- and CH(3)-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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Aldred N, Gohad NV, Petrone L, Orihuela B, Liedberg B, Ederth T, Mount A, Rittschof D, Clare AS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Experimental Biology

Year: 2013

Volume: 216

Pages: 1969-1972

Print publication date: 21/02/2013

ISSN (print): 0022-0949

ISSN (electronic): 1477-9145

Publisher: The Company of Biologists Ltd.


DOI: 10.1242/jeb.084913


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Funder referenceFunder name
237997 (SEACOAT)European Community 's Seventh Framework Programme
N00014-08-1-1240Office of Naval Research grants
N00014-11-1-0180Office of Naval Research grants
N00014-11-1-0183Office of Naval Research grants
N00014-12-1-0365Office of Naval Research grants
N62909-11-1-4005Office of Naval Research Global grant