How crazy would it be, if sometime in the near future we are no longer using super glue to propagate our corals but instead, using a compound derived from shellfish? If researchers at Purdue university have their way, that’s exactly what will happen and instead of Loc-Tite we’ll be using Mussel-Tite.
For centuries we’ve known that the saltwater mussels, the kind that are delicious in a white wine reduction, have an amazing ability to attach to objects underwater. It’s this underwater property that has always been intriguing to researchers and engineers – we’ve been able to make all kinds of synthetic adhesives but none that work as well as what mussels create, until now.
By mimicking how mussels attach themselves to rocks in the ocean, engineers at Purdue University have been able to create compounds that are even stronger than the original. Scientists have been trying to do exactly this for decades, but now it does seem like they’ve finally succeeded and if they can commercialize the new chemistry. We may someday be using a adhesive to glue corals or even rocks in our reef tanks and if it works so well, we might even use it to build the tanks themselves! [Gizmodo]