Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Gecko Tape

PostedMarch 9, 2008

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins:  Suturing can damage internal tissues.  But a newly developed sticky tape might do the trick more gently.  Bob Langer, an MIT bioengineer, says the idea came from geckos.

Robert Langer:  They have toes in a very intricate nanostructure that enables them to have an enormous amount of adhesivity.

Randy Atkins:  Langer's team is replicating that stickiness by mimicking the physical structure of gecko toe surfaces...

Robert Langer: ...with a polymer that would be biocompatible, biodegradable, and have enough good mechanical properties.

Randy Atkins:  Langer says testing suggests the new tape should work well, even on the slippery surface of a beating heart.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103.5 FM, WTOP Radio.