Chemistry Startup Creates Adhesive That Mimics Glue Used by Mussels
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN — Mussel Polymers Inc. has licensed a novel underwater adhesive technology based on a glue used naturally by marine creatures. It soon may be used in industries ranging from biomedical to aerospace. The adhesive, which is called poly(catechol-styrene) or PCS, is engineered to mimic the glue that mussels naturally use to attach to substrates in the ocean.
The research effort that led to the development of PCS lasted over a decade and was supported with $2 million from the Office of Naval Research.
“We have been studying sea creatures, how they stick, and designing synthetic mimics of these materials,” says Jonathan Wilker, a Purdue professor of chemistry and materials engineering. “We are quite excited to move these new materials from the research lab into the marketplace. There is potential here to impact several industries, including products that people use in their daily lives.”
The team behind Mussel Polymers Inc. licensed the technology through the Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization.
“The entire Purdue Research Foundation and OTC teams were extraordinary in helping us move through the process of licensing this technology, laying the groundwork for taking it to market,” says George Boyajian, CEO of Wardenclyffe. “The adhesive technology addresses a range of previously unsolvable wet adhesion problems in a variety of industries from biomedical to aerospace to automotive to cosmetics and construction.”