Mathematical Biology Seminar

Russell Stewart
Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah
3:05PM, Wednesday, December 1, 2010
LCB 225
The Underwater Adhesives of Sandcastle Worms and Caddisfly Larva

Abstract: Sandcastle worms are marine polychaetes that build tubular shells by gluing adventitiously gathered sand grains together with a protein-based underwater adhesive. Key chemical features of the sandcastle glue were copied with synthetic polymers to create water-borne underwater adhesives that are being tested for adhesive repair of bones. Freshwater caddisfly larva also build composite tubes by bonding together rocks or sticks collected in their underwater environment. The two organisms take structurally different approaches to the same underwater construction task but the adhesive chemistry appears to be remarkably similar.