Gecko feet inspire development of new bandage

March 4, 2008

Cambridge, Mass. - Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a waterproof bandage inspired by the sticky surface found on the feet of the gecko, Reuters reports.

Cambridge, Mass. - Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a waterproof bandage inspired by the sticky surface found on the feet of the gecko, Reuters reports.

As reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the bandage could prove useful after surgery to repair wounds.

Using computer technology, the researchers designed a bandage with extremely tiny hills and valleys on the surface - much like the surface of a gecko’s foot - that improve adhesion and enable the bandage to better grip underlying tissue.

Researchers note that while others have created gecko-inspired glues that can be used in dry environments, the bandage would be suitable for use in wet environments, such as wounds. In order to make the bandage even stickier on wet surfaces, investigators added a thin layer of sugar-based glue to the surface.

Researchers say the bandage is biodegradable - so it can be left inside the body - and drugs can be applied to the bandage, making it useful as a drug- or cell-delivery mechanism.