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IRG 1: Bio-Inspired Wet Adhesion

A fundamental challenge in materials science is engineering durable adhesive bonds in a wet environment. Most synthetic adhesive systems suffer significant deterioration, even complete failure, in the presence of moisture, which in its broadest sense ranges from surface hydration to immersion in body fluids or seawater. The high-risk, long-term goal of this IRG is to develop the fundamental design principles involved in bio-adhesion, achieve translation to synthetic systems, and pioneer a systems approach to wet bonding that spans nano- to macroscale dimensions.


Herb Waite (Co-leader) MCDB/Materials Biomimetic Materials
Song-I Han (Co-leader) Chemistry/ChemE
Megan Valentine (Co-leader) Mechanical Engineering
Alison Butler Chemistry
Glenn Fredrickson ChemE/Materials
Craig Hawker Chemistry/Materials
Jacob Israelachvili Materials
Edward Kramer ChemE/Materials


Claus Eisenbach Chemistry (U Stuttgart)
Matt Helgeson Chemical Engineering
Joan-Emma Shea Chemistry
Matt Tirrell University of Chicago


Representation of the multiple length scales in the adhesive system of the common mussel Mytilus edulis – molecular level - supramolecular assembly - macroscopic delivery system.