Bio-Inspired Dry Adhesives

Award Information
Department of Defense
Office for Chemical and Biological Defense
Award Year:
Phase II
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
CBD 09-102
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
3927 Dobie Road, Okemos, MI, 48864
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Anagi Balachandra
Project Manager
(517) 485-9583
Business Contact:
Farangis Jamzadeh
Vice President
(517) 485-9583
Research Institution:
A new generation of bio-inspired adhesives is under development for controlling the face-seal leakage in respirator masks. While conventional pressure-sensitive adhesives rely on liquid-like fluidity under pressure to adapt to surface roughness, biological adhesion mechanisms employed by gecko, spider and insects rely upon the compliance of a fibrillar array to accommodate surface roughness for magnifying molecular-scale contacts. The fibrillar nature of biological adhesives distinguishes them from conventional pressure-sensitive adhesives in terms of adhesion to wet surfaces via capillary action, self-cleaning, stability under repeated use and in severe conditions, the ability to accommodate facial hair, dirt and skin irregularities, and removability. Bio-inspired adhesives, however, cannot match some key qualities of pressure-sensitive adhesives, including ductility and energy absorption capacity (reliability and immunity to excess size effect), density of the interface (sealing qualities), and accommodation of local (sub-micron-scale) roughness (adhesion capacity). Our approach makes complementary use of patterned bio-inspired adhesives and highly stable variations of pressure-sensitive adhesives to combine their corresponding advantages in a new generation of bio-inspired adhesives. The integrated theoretical/experimental work of Phase I project verified the balanced qualities and the commercial promise of the new bio-inspired adhesives. The proposed Phase II project will build upon the Phase I accomplishments towards full development and optimization of the new bio-inspired adhesives, their integration into the peripheral seal of full-facepiece respirator masks, thorough evaluation of the corresponding benefits to the face-seal leak resistance of respirators, and assessment of the commercial potential of the technology in application to respirator masks and also in other fields of application.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo

Department of Agriculture logo

Department of Commerce logo

Department of Defense logo

Department of Education logo

Department of Energy logo

Department of Health and Human Services logo

Department of Homeland Security logo

Department of Transportation logo

Enviromental Protection Agency logo

National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo

National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government