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STTR Phase I: Biologically Inspired Polymer Fiber Adhesives as Enhanced Gripping Materials

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0930610
Agency Tracking Number: 0930610
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: MM
Solicitation Number: NSF 08-608
Solicitation Year: 2009
Award Year: 2009
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
5520 Raleigh Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
United States
DUNS: 829301378
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Burak Aksak
 (412) 600-1786
Business Contact
 Burak Aksak
Title: PhD
Phone: (412) 600-1786
Research Institution
 Carnegie-Mellon University
 Burak Aksak
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 1295
United States

 (412) 268-3632
 Nonprofit College or University

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I project proposes biologically inspired polymer fibrillar adhesives as new gripping materials for ultragrip sports glove and other potential gripping and repeatable adhesive applications. Geckos and insects have the gripping ability to attach thousands of times to widely varying surfaces without significant degradation, even in the presence of contamination and moisture, using millions of micro and nanoscale fibers on their feet. Today's repeatable adhesives foul quickly under these conditions, which leads to limited lifetime and constrains the scenarios in which they can be used. In this study, models will be developed to understand the interaction mechanics of fibrillar adhesives, and gripping materials based on bioinspired polymer fibers optimized for sports glove applications will be designed and demonstrated. The broader impacts of this research are the production of wide range of potential commercial products using these bioinspired gripping and adhesive materials and improved technical understanding on design of fibrillar adhesives for specific applications. Repeatable adhesives that leave no residue have a very broad market and commercial potential. In particular, as an advanced goal, if adhesion to skin tissues is achieved, this technology would have a strong impact in the medical industry. In the near term, these adhesives will be integrated into sports gloves to provide increased grip to a football surface. The scientific and technical understanding gained from this project will improve the design of fibrillar adhesives, and identify challenges for designing adhesives for specific application scenarios.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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