Engineers reveal reversible superglue inspired by snail mucus

Snails secrete a mucus that acts like superglue, allowing them to adhere to rough surfaces like rocks.

Inspired by this aspect of snail biology, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, Lehigh University and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology have created a superglue-like material that is “intrinsically reversible.” In other words, it can easily come unglued.

Frangopol awarded 2019 George W. Housner Structural Control and Monitoring Medal

George W. Houser is widely considered the father of seismic engineering, which ushered in safer, more cost-effective construction in earthquake-prone areas.

So it’s fitting that a medal bearing his name would be bestowed on a researcher who’s played a similarly foundational role in ensuring the reliability of modern civil infrastructure systems.  

WATCH: The Rotating Wheel Rayleigh Taylor Instability Experiment

Arindam Banerjee, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics, and his students developed the Rotating Wheel Rayleigh Taylor Instability Experiment, which studies two-fluid mixing to mimic inertial confinement fusion. The lab, known as the Turbulent Mixing Laboratory, took Lehigh students five years to build from scratch. Watch the video in the Lehigh University News Center.