Beilstein journal of nanotechnology | VOL. 5

From sticky to slippery: Biological and biologically-inspired adhesion and friction

Publication Date Sep 3, 2014


Physical phenomena such as adhesion and friction are widely-spread in biological systems. They rely on a combination of various mechanisms (Fig. 1). Since living creatures move on land, in air and in water, there are numerous mechanical interactions between their body surfaces and the environment. Moreover, the motion of cells and tissues inside their bodies is an important part of developmental processes, circulation, respiration, excretion, and any other kind of motility. All these processes rely on adhesion and friction and are continuously under evolutionary pressure, which has contributed to the appearance of highly-specialized surfaces adapted to the enhancement, reduction, or optimization of their frictional and adhesive behavior. The study of these adaptations may also provide inspirations for the design of biologically-inspired artificial surfaces. Figure 1 Different physical phenomena contribute to adhesion and friction in biological systems. From left to right: intermolecular van der Waals (vdW) interactions, chemical bonding, capillary interactions, mechanical interlocking, suction forces, diffusion of ... The majority of books which discuss the biomechanics of contact phenomena are restricted to selected few model systems most of which deal with materials of the human body or implants. However, a human is only one among millions of living species of organisms, and interesting adhesion- and friction-related contact problems can be found everywhere in biological systems. Different types of cells, ...

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Biological Systems
Thematic Series
Intermolecular Van Der Waals
Kind Of Motility
Force Measurement Techniques
Insect Feet
Insect Adhesion
Snake Skin
Intermolecular Van Der Waals Interactions
Bird Wings

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