Adam Summers, University of Washington
Ian Stevens, University of Washington
Zach Bivins, University of Washington
Summary: The northern clingfish, Gobiesox maeandricus, is able to adhere to slippery, fouled and irregular surfaces in the marine intertidal environment. The fish can adhere equally well to surfaces with a broad range of surface roughness, from the finest sandpaper to textures suitable for removing finish from flooring. The fishes outperform man-made suction cups, which only adhere to the smoothest surfaces. This adhesion mechanism relies on hierarchically structured microvilli, which interdigitate with the projections of rugose surfaces. This points to a possible biomimetic solution to the problem of reversibly adhering to irregular, submerged surfaces.
Original Publication: Ditsche, P., Wainwright, D. and Summers, A. 2014. Attachment to challenging substrates - Fouling, roughness and limits of adhesion in the northern clingfish (Gobiesox maeandricus). Journal of Experimental Biology 217:2548-2554 DOI: 10.1242/jeb.100149
Link to publication: jeb.biologists.org/content/217/14/2548
Support Provided by: National Science Foundation Grant IOS-1256602