Study of bioadhesion phenomena in nanostructured materials, developed by Dr. Fernando Torres and funded by The World Academy of Sciences ( TWAS)

Bioadhesion is referred to a phenomenon in which different materials adhere to biological surfaces . For example , mussels used for fastening wire with adhesive proteins on the rocks , spiders secrete a bioadhesive that allow them to capture their prey, the abalone shell is a bionanocompuesto formed by calcium carbonate plates sandwiched between adhesive biopolymers.

We focus on two model systems: i ) The adhesive secreted by the spider Argiope argentata and ii ) flakes Arapaima gigas . The spider Argiope argentata produces a thread called viscose yarn surrounded by an aqueous adhesive as Arapaimas gigas is an Amazon fish with large scales (5-10 cm long ) formed by layers of mineralized collagen plates reinforced by nano – hydroxyapatite .
We plan to use Atomic Force Microscopy based nanoindentation techniques to evaluate the micro- physical properties. The recorded data are used to estimate the adhesive force and the spring constant of the bioadhesive .

The results can be used to model the mechanical behavior of bioadhesive and to determine the relevance of the physical adhesion and biochemical consider accession. We hope that these results can help to identify the best strategy for developing a high adhesive strength and good Performancia nanocomposites as in wet conditions.