London - A new adhesive tape inspired by the feet of geckos can clean itself and stay sticky even on dusty surfaces.
Scientists copied a gecko’s toe pads to make the dry material, which is covered in clinging microscopic hairs.
The hairs rid themselves of large dust particles using friction, while small grains fall into grooves between the hairs.
The tape could be used instead of Velcro, or for bandages that can be opened and closed several times, say the researchers.
It took scientists many years to work out how geckos can hang upside down from ceilings. They have millions of tiny hairs on each toe that grip even on polished glass – by using an electrical quantum effect.
When molecules get very close to each other, a weak force pulls them together.
The millions of hairs on a gecko’s toe, in contact with a ceiling, multiply this effect until the force sticking them to the ceiling is stronger than gravity pulling them down. - Daily Mail