Nanoscale friction and adhesion of tree frog toe pads

Kappl, M., Kaveh, F. and Barnes, W. J. P. (2016) Nanoscale friction and adhesion of tree frog toe pads. Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, 11(3), 035003. (doi:10.1088/1748-3190/11/3/035003) (PMID:27165465)

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Abstract

Tree frogs have become an object of interest in biomimetics due to their ability to cling to wet and slippery surfaces. In this study, we have investigated the adhesion and friction behavior of toe pads of White's tree frog (Litoria caerulea) using atomic force microscopy (AFM) in an aqueous medium. Facilitating special types of AFM probes with radii of ~400 nm and ~13 μm, we were able to sense the frictional response without damaging the delicate nanopillar structures of the epithelial cells. While we observed no significant adhesion between both types of probes and toe pads in wet conditions, frictional forces under such conditions were very pronounced and friction coefficients amounted between 0.3 and 1.1 for the sliding friction between probes and the epithelial cell surfaces.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors acknowledge funding by priority program SPP1420 of the German Science Foundation.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barnes, Dr W.Jon.P
Authors: Kappl, M., Kaveh, F., and Barnes, W. J. P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Bioinspiration and Biomimetics
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:1748-3182
ISSN (Online):1748-3190
Published Online:11 May 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd
First Published:First published in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics 11(3): 035003
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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