According tomedia CNET, many people may experience suction cups falling from walls, mirrors or windows. Scientists are studying the wonderful way Austrian ticks cling to river rocks, which could lead to the development of future suction cups that won’t fall.
According to a study published Wednesday in the journal BMC Zooology, a team of zoologists at the University of Cambridge conducted a very close-up look at the “sucker” organs used by larvae to attach to rocks, while hitting them with running water. For some of these creatures, it takes more than 600 times their weight to get them out of the rock.
“They are not affected by extreme water speed – we see them moving in all directions,” said Victor Kang, a Cambridge doctoral student and lead author of the study.
In the center of the suction cup organ there is a muscle-controlled “piston” and dense, fine hairs that come into contact with the rock. To separate, the larvae open a small slit on the plate. “This is the first time this active separation mechanism has been found in any biological system,” the University of Cambridge said in a statement. “
Now, scientists have a good understanding of how these insects’ “suckers” work, and they are researching and developing bio-inspired suckers. Study co-author Walter Federle said: “There may be medical uses, such as allowing surgeons to move around fragile tissue, or industrial applications such as berry pickers, where suction cups can pick fruit without crushing it.” “