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: Lichen to thrill as rare Golden-eye is discovered in South Wales

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How geckos cope with wet feet

Aug 09, 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 ...

Recommended for you

Protecting crops from radiation-contaminated soil

2 hours ago

Almost four years after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, farmland remains contaminated with higher-than-natural levels of radiocesium in some regions of Japan, with cesium-134 ...

Activating genes on demand

15 hours ago

When it comes to gene expression - the process by which our DNA provides the recipe used to direct the synthesis of proteins and other molecules that we need for development and survival - scientists have ...

Metabolic path to improved biofuel production

15 hours ago

Researchers with the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), a partnership that includes the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley, have found a way ...

User comments : 0

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.