Science has turned its torch to many corners of the animal kingdom in the pursuit of advanced adhesives. Immoveable mussels, grippy geckos and stubborn shellfish have helped nudge these efforts along in the past, and now another critter has emerged with a few sticky secrets of its own.
Researchers have replicated the adhesive secreted by sandcastle worms to form a new kind of underwater glue, a substance they say could find use in a number of applications including tissue repair and dentistry.
Found along the Californian coast, sandcastle worms are reef-building marine animals so named because they construct shelter out of grains of sand that are bound together by a strong underwater adhesive. Like mussels and other glue-producing marine life, scientists have studied the creatures in hopes of developing new, robust glues that can perform in wet environments.