research map

Research Overview

BioMimetic underwater adhesives

The diagram provides a broad overview of the research projects in our lab. The core framework is to create synthetic underwater adhesives inspired by natural underwater adhesives produced by marine sandcastle worms and freshwater caddisfly larvae. Thorough characterization of all aspects of the natural adhesives is critical to this research objective: from studying the structure of the cured adhesive, to the macromolecular and elemental composition of the adhesive, to the chemical or physical mechanisms of the set and cure reactions, to the physiology of the adhesive producing glands, to molecular characterization of adhesive macromolecules.

Applications of the synthetic underwater adhesives include non-toxic, water-borne medical adhesives for the repair of hard and soft tissues, as well as more general purpose underwater adhesives. Synthetic adhesives for undersea applications have replicated the seawater triggered setting mechanism of the natural sandcastle glue.

Current lab members