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. 2009 Mar 26;113(12):3615-21.
doi: 10.1021/jp806079d.

Role of Tilted Adhesion Fibrils (Setae) in the Adhesion and Locomotion of Gecko-Like Systems

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Role of Tilted Adhesion Fibrils (Setae) in the Adhesion and Locomotion of Gecko-Like Systems

Boxin Zhao et al. J Phys Chem B. .

Abstract

Geckos are super climbers: they can readily and rapidly stick to almost any surface, whether hydrophilic or hydrophobic, rough or smooth, in dry or wet conditions, and detach with equal rapidity within tens of milliseconds. In this paper, we discuss the rapid switching between the strong adhesion/friction (attached) state and zero adhesion/friction (detached) state, and present a finite element analysis of gecko setae in terms of their adhesion and friction forces. The analysis shows why the asymmetric, naturally curved setae with a directional tilt play a crucial role in the gecko's articulation mechanism, consistent with recent experimental studies of gecko setal arrays. We derive guidelines for designing synthetic versions of gecko adhesive pads, and propose a design for a "gecko-inspired" adhesive surface consisting of arrays of curved, asymmetric, and directionally oriented microfibrils, attached to a semirigid backing, and suggest a method for its actuation.

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