Sticky gecko feet: The role of temperature and humidity

May 14, 2008

A team of five University of Akron researchers has published the paper, “Sticky gecko feet: the role of temperature and humidity” in PLoS ONE, an open-access, online journal for peer-reviewed scientific and medical research.

The UA authors are Dr. Peter Niewiarowski, professor of biology; Stephanie Lopez, graduate student in biology; Liehui Ge, graduate assistant in polymer science; Emily Hagan (undergraduate REU participant, Hiram); and Dr. Ali Dhinojwala, professor of polymer science.

“We tested the effect of temperature and humidity on the ability of geckos to stick to glass, expecting that neither would have a major role,” says Niewiarowski. “Surprisingly, we found that both temperature and humidity variation affect their ability to cling to glass.

“For example, under very humid conditions, geckos stick with twice the force compared to dry conditions at low temperatures. At high temperatures, geckos stick comparatively poorly and the humidity level is less important. Previous work by other labs using isolated setae suggested that clinging ability should be insensitive to variation in both temperature and humidity. Our work with live geckos indicates a need to further explore the role of temperature and humidity on adhesion to different surfaces in both natural (geckos) and synthetic materials.”

Citation: Niewiarowski PH, Lopez S, Ge L, Hagan E, Dhinojwala A (2008) Sticky Gecko Feet: The Role of Temperature and Humidity. PLoS ONE 3(5): e2192. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002192 (www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0002192)

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: How geckos cope with wet feet

Related Stories

How geckos cope with wet feet

August 9, 2012

Geckos are remarkable little creatures, clinging to almost any dry surface, and Alyssa Stark, from the University of Akron, USA, explains that they appear to be equally happy scampering through tropical rainforest canopies ...

Recommended for you

LiH mediates low-temperature ammonia synthesis

August 24, 2016

Nearly half of the world's population is fed by industrial N2 fixation, i. e., the Harbor-Bosch process. Although exergonic in nature, NH3 synthesis from N2 and H2 catalyzed by the fused Fe has to be conducted at elevated ...

Selecting the right house plant could improve indoor air

August 24, 2016

Indoor air pollution is an important environmental threat to human health, leading to symptoms of "sick building syndrome." But researchers report that surrounding oneself with certain house plants could combat the potentially ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.