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GG6.05 - Learning New Adhesion Lessons from Pollen Bioparticles 
April 9, 2015   9:30am - 9:45am

Natural particles, such as pollen, diatoms, and fungal spores, exhibit a remarkable breadth of complex solid surface ornamentations as well as a nanoscale thin liquid glues. This talk will examine pollen, and show that these features combine to yield a natural pressure-sensitive adhesive system. In particular, we have discovered that the combination of solid spines or reticulate structures with the nanometric liquid pollenkitt gives pollen a load-sensitive adhesion on rough surfaces. A second discovery is that the pollen adhesion can be optimized when the adhesion surface patterns form a negative impression of the pollen spine features. These results are derived from measurements of pollen adhesion and detachment from surfaces with controlled roughness and pattern regularity, by using AFM and centrifuge methods. Three pollen species were investigated, each having a unique surface morphology and pollenkitt volume. Surface patterning of the test substrate was controlled by using blends of poly(styrene) with poly(styrene-b-isoprene) copolymer. Significant enhancement in the adhesion was observed for pollen deposited on rough patterned surfaces owing to multiple spine interactions with a rough surface. The adhesion was optimized when the counter surface pattern matched the spacing of the pollen spines. Modeling of pollen detachment behavior under centrifugal forces shows that the mechanism of pollen detachment switches from sliding to rolling as roughness increases. The pollen adhesion system provides a natural model for development of novel pressure-sensitive adhesives on rough or patterned surfaces.

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