Ten Materials Inspired By Mother Nature (VIDEO)

The natural world is filled with strange, fascinating structures that are stronger, more flexible and more resilient than anything humans can make.

4. Barnacle cement for bone repair


Besides mussels, barnacles also possess notable water-resistant adhesive capacity. These crustaceans secrete a sort of cement which allows them to stick permanently to solid surfaces.

The biochemistry of this barnacle cement, however, is quite distinct from mussel adhesive proteins. In Japan, an expert on barnacle cement proteins, Dr. Kei Kamino from the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation in Kisarazu, was the first to elucidate its amino acid sequence.

What is more, because barnacle cement comes into direct contact with minerals in their native environment, there is potential to use barnacle cement in dentistry and bone repair applications.

Ali Miserez is an assistant professor at the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

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