A forty-eight second video clip demonstrates how a frog’s tongue adheres to its prey –and the biomimicry that makes pressure sensitive adhesive tapes work. Watch the way in which the frog rolls its tongue over its prey before retracting it. As the tongue retracts, it is no longer in contact with its target, but strands of mucus known as fibrils remain stuck to the prey insect, pulling it back into the frog’s mouth. These fibrils are pressure-sensitive, just like the adhesives used in adhesive tapes and bandages.
Biomimcry helps the adhesives industry solve engineering challenges by looking at the ways in which nature has solved similar problems. Thus the frog’s tongue or the sticky pads on a gecko’s toes provide inspirations for adhesives technologists, helping them to come up with new solutions to modern challenges by imitating the strategies that have been perfected in nature over thousands of years.