Dry adhesion of artificial gecko setae fabricated via direct laser lithography

Omar Tricinci*, Eric V. Eason, Carlo Filippeschi, Alessio Mondini, Barbara Mazzolai, Nicola M. Pugno, Mark R. Cutkosky, Francesco Greco, Virgili Mattol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Biomimetics has introduced a new paradigm: by constructing structures with engineered materials and geometries, innovative devices may be fabricated. According to this paradigm, both shape and material properties are equally important to determine functional performance. This idea has been applied also in the field of the microfabrication of smart surfaces, exploiting properties already worked out by nature, like in the case of self-cleaning, drag reduction, structural coloration, and dry adhesion. Regarding dry adhesive properties, geckos represent a good example from which we take inspiration, since they have the extraordinary ability to climb almost every type of surface, even smooth ones, thanks to the hierarchical conformation of the fibrillary setae in their toe pads. Due to this design, they can increase the area of contact with a surface and thus the amount of attractive van der Waals forces. While reproducing with artificial materials the same functional morphology of gecko’s pads is typically not achievable with traditional microfabrication techniques, recently Direct Laser Litography offered new opportunities to fabrication of complex three-dimensional structures in the microscale with nanometric resolution. Using direct laser lithography, we have fabricated artificial gecko setae, reproducing with unprecedented faithfulness the natural morphology in the same dimensional scale. Adhesion force of artificial setae toward different surfaces have been tested in dry condition by means of a dedicated setup and compared with natural ones.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomimetic and Biohybrid Systems - 6th International Conference, Living Machines 2017, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag Heidelberg
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9783319635361
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Living Machines 2017 - Stanford, United States
Duration: 26 Jul 201728 Jul 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10384 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference6th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Living Machines 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Biomimetics
  • Direct laser lithography
  • Dry adhesion
  • Gecko

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


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