Penn Engineers Demonstrate Superstrong, Reversible Adhesive That Works Like Snail Slime

Penn Engineering
Jun 17, 2019 · 6 min read
Snails can anchor themselves in place using a structure known as an epiphragm. The snail’s slimy secretion works its way into the pores found on even seemingly smooth surfaces, then hardens, providing strong adhesion that can be reversed when the slime softens. Penn Engineers have developed a new material that works in a similar way. (Illustration: Younghee Lee)

By Lauren Salig

If you’ve ever pressed a picture-hanging strip onto the wall only to realize it’s slightly off-center, you know the disappointment behind adhesion as we typically experience it: it may be strong, but it’s mostly irreversible. While you can un-stick the used strip from the wall, you can’t turn its…