NSF-funded researchers at Indiana and Brown Universities have been studying the strongest natural
adhesive known to science. The super-sticky substance is what one species of water-loving bacteria uses to grip its surroundings with a force of
roughly five tons per square inch--equivalent to the downward force exerted by three cars balancing on a spot the size of a quarter.
This holding power makes the natural glue stronger than superglues found on store shelves and is rivaled
by only a few synthetics. If engineers can find a way to mass-produce the material, it could have uses in medicine, marine
technology and a range of other applications.
Aquatic bacteria attach to each other by their glue-secreting holdfasts, structures at the tip of their stalks. Engineers are trying to mass produce the glue.