Biologist studying geckos for adhesive breakthrough


 

 

robin kuniski/for metro calgary

 

Professor Anthony Russell of the University of Calgary is one of the world’s leading experts on geckos and has been studying the critter to try and grasp how the lizard is able to stick to vertical surfaces. Russell has published a paper on the subject in the current issue of the Canadian Journal of Zoology.






"The goal is to create a completely dry adhesive that doesn’t leave any residue behind and will remain attached as long as you apply a load to it and can be reused a number of times."






In order to grasp the concept of how geckos can cling to virtually any surface, a University of Calgary biologist is sticking to his research.





Professor Anthony Russell is studying geckos to determine how they can walk on glass, walls and other surfaces and hopes his findings will help create a new adhesive for humans.





“Unlike most creatures, geckos don’t use sticky secretions to help them hang on. It’s all due to the structure of their amazing skin,” he said.





“Figuring out how they are able to run across ceilings and walk up windows is remarkably complex but it is getting a lot of attention because of the possible technology it could yield.”





The latest development in gekkotan adhesive research is a paper by Russell and U of C graduate student Megan Johnson published in the current issue of the Canadian Journal of Zoology.





“The goal is to create a completely dry adhesive that doesn’t leave any residue behind and will remain attached as long as you apply a load to it and can be reused a number of times. Once we manufacture how it works it could be reasonably cheap to make and the possible uses are endless.”





Researchers are hoping to create the first synthetic “gecko glue” with findings from the study.




krista.sylvester@metronews.ca