Nature is full of plants and animals with fantastic properties that science looks at with admiration. A good example is the sandcastle worm. This underwater worm builds a cylindrical house by sticking pieces of shell and stones together. The glue that the worm produces for this consists of a mixture of positively and negatively charged protein polymers. This mixture is very suitable to be used as underwater glue due to a principle called complex coacervation. Inspired by the sandcastle worm, synthetic polymers to create strong underwater adhesives are in the process of being developed.
Another source of scientific inspiration comes from the legs of a gecko. Geckos legs are full of small hairs, with which these animals can attach and detach themselves well on all kinds of surfaces. In our research we have unraveled part of the attachment mechanism of the gecko, which shows that relatively simple structures can strongly influence the attachment. The developed materials are suitable for many practical applications, such as robots that must move and release effortlessly in order to move.
During this lecture, Kamperman gives an overview of various fascinating natural materials and shows how she translates these examples into synthetic materials.
About Marleen Kamperman
For Marleen Kamperman (1979) nature is the source of inspiration when developing new materials. She does this by cleverly copying chemical functions from different biological systems. Her second line of research is to structure surfaces on a nanoscale so that they can quickly adhere and release to any surface, just like the ingenious surface of fine hairs on the legs of a gecko. In addition to her own research group, Kamperman is active in mentoring programs for young researchers and she gives public lectures.
Date: Wednesday February 5th
Time: 19.30 walk in, start 20.00
Location: Campus Fryslân, Wirdumerdijk 34, Leeuwarden