Glue That Sticks to Nearly Everything

Researchers led by Phillip Messersmith of Northwestern University have identified a compound similar to two of the active components in the 'glue' that mussels use to attach themselves.  The compound can form thin films to which a wide variety of organic and inorganic materials will stick.  The film can also be patterned using microlithography, both to create electronic circuits and specific patterns of organic substances.  The films self-assemble from dopamine when the correct concentrations and pH levels are maintained.

Mussels still have an advantage - their glue stick to any substrate without requiring tight control over external environmental conditions.

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