Toe Hair offer Amazing Surface Sticking Qualities to Gecko
New research on gecko shows that the stickiness of its toes is the reason the lizard can climb to vertical walls and attach itself to surface. Incredible adhesive properties help the creature to run across the surface at 20 body lengths per second.
The adhesion system of the creature allows it to run across a vertical wall with millions of tiny microscopic hairs on its feet that become sticky and non-sticky in an integrated process without spending much energy.
Engineering professor at the Oregon State University, Alex Greaney, and his colleagues have carried out extensive research on geckos and found that the lizards don't really stick to surfaces. Instead, they make themselves sticky.
Greaney said, "It's this incredible synergy of the flexibility, angle and extensibility of the hairs that makes it possible".
Scientists found that gecko's toes have hundreds of microscopic hair called "setae." Setae are the sole reason for the creature's ability to stick to a wall. Geckos use setae to turn its stickiness on and off instantly without spending much energy.
Geckos use a property called the van der Waals force to stick to a wall. The force makes electrons from the molecules on the surface interact with electrons of the molecules in the lizard's hair. The interaction helps geckos to stick to the surface of wall.
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