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Pure Appl. Chem., 2010, Vol. 82, No. 1, pp. 91-96

Published online 2010-01-03

Morphology and mechanics of the adhesive disc of liana Parthenocissus tricuspidata

Tianxian He, Li Zhang, Hongliang Xin and Wenli Deng*

College of Materials Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China

Abstract: A single mature adhesive disc of Parthenocissus tricuspidata has an average mass of only about 0.0005 g, an average attached area of about 1.22 mm2, and an adhesive force of about 13.7 N. On average, the disc can support a combined weight of stem, leaf, branchlet, and tendril which is 260 times greater than its own weight during the growth, and can sustain a maximum pulling force which is 2 800 000 times higher than that produced by its own weight. Experimental studies reveal that the adhesive disc of P. tricuspidata has super-adhesive properties. Microscopic experiments show some new microstructures, and we propose a new hypothesis and model to elucidate the mechanism of adhesion.

Errata to this article were published in:
Pure Appl. Chem., 2011, Vol. 83, No. 6, pp. 1341-1342