U.S. researchers have discovered the mechanism by which geckos keep their sticky feet continuously clean without grooming. The discovery should help with the development of adhesives that do not attract dirt, a possibly major advancement for common bandages.
“Our mathematical models suggest that self-cleaning in gecko setae is a result of geometry not chemistry,” says Autumn. “This means that synthetic self-cleaning adhesives could be fabricated from a wide variety of materials. The possibilities for future applications of a dry, self-cleaning adhesive are enormous. We envision uses for our discovery ranging from nanosurgery to aerospace applications. Who knows-maybe a gecko-inspired robot with sticky, self-cleaning feet will walk on the dusty surface of Mars someday.”