The pads on the toes of a gecko are coated with microscopic hills and valleys, structures that help the lizards to cling to ceilings, walls, and other difficult-to-climb surfaces. Now, writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers describe how they have designed a surface with similar structures to create a sticky, strong, biodegradable surgical adhesive bandage that could be used in a variety of medical applications.
Studying the way gecko feet work inspired the team "to create a patterned interface to enhance the surface area of contact and thus the overall strength of adhesion,” said Jeffrey Karp, one of the authors of the paper. Join guest host Joe Palca in this segment for a conversation with Karp about the work, and why scientists are taking design tips from lizards.
Produced by Charles Bergquist, Director and Contributing Producer