Handpicked by Lab.Equipment from the Journal of Experimental Biology, here is an interesting Bio industry news just for you:
Flora Borne, Alexander Kovalev, Stanislav Gorb, and Virginie Courtier-Orgogozo
Insects produce a variety of adhesives for diverse functions such as locomotion, mating, and egg or pupal anchorage to substrates. Although they are important for the biology of organisms and potentially represent a great resource for developing new materials, insect adhesives have been little studied so far. Here, we examined the adhesive properties of the larval glue of Drosophila melanogaster. This glue is made of glycosylated proteins and allows the animal to adhere to a substrate during metamorphosis. We designed an adhesion test to measure the pull-off force required to detach a pupa from a substrate and to evaluate the contact area covered by the glue. We found that the pupa adheres with similar forces to a variety of substrates (with distinct roughness, hydrophilic and charge properties). We obtained an average pull-off force of 217 mN, corresponding to 15,500 times the weight of a pupa and an adhesion strength of 137–244 kPa. Surprisingly, the pull-off forces did not depend on the contact area. Our study paves the way for a genetic dissection of the components of D. melanogaster glue that confer its particular adhesive properties... Continue reading the entire article at the Journal of Experimental Biology Blog.
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