3 years ago

Hybrid Surface Patterns Mimicking the Design of the Adhesive Toe Pad of Tree Frog

Hybrid Surface Patterns Mimicking the Design of the Adhesive Toe Pad of Tree Frog
Di Tan, Markus Guttmann, Belén Sanz, Longjian Xue, Carmen Mijangos, Rui Zhang, Aránzazu del Campo, Xin Wang, Kevin T. Turner, Aoyi Luo, Michael Kappl, Martin Steinhart, Hang Du
Biological materials achieve directional reinforcement with oriented assemblies of anisotropic building blocks. One such example is the nanocomposite structure of keratinized epithelium on the toe pad of tree frogs, in which hexagonal arrays of (soft) epithelial cells are crossed by densely packed and oriented (hard) keratin nanofibrils. Here, a method is established to fabricate arrays of tree-frog-inspired composite micropatterns composed of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) micropillars embedded with polystyrene (PS) nanopillars. Adhesive and frictional studies of these synthetic materials reveal a benefit of the hierarchical and anisotropic design for both adhesion and friction, in particular, at high matrix–fiber interfacial strengths. The presence of PS nanopillars alters the stress distribution at the contact interface of micropillars and therefore enhances the adhesion and friction of the composite micropattern. The results suggest a design principle for bioinspired structural adhesives, especially for wet environments.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.7b04994

DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b04994

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