Natural adhesives, including the glue produced by shellfish like this mussel, have remarkable properties that researchers are now duplicating in the lab.
Image courtesy of Tara Fadenrecht (2011)
Mussels generate their own self healing sticky material, which is capable of rapidly making bonds after a sticky thread has been broken. These natural glues are important for attaching to rocks. The sticky gel attached to this mussel was created in the laboratory to closely duplicate the characteristics of the glue-like substance that mussels manufacture. Scientists hope to be able to use this synthetic mussel mucus as an adhesive that could work underwater.