Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Scheduled maintenance work on Wednesday 27th March 2019 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (GMT).

During this time our website performance may be temporarily affected. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.

Issue 48, 2017
Previous Article Next Article

Simple peptide coacervates adapted for rapid pressure-sensitive wet adhesion

Author affiliations


We report here that a dense liquid formed by spontaneous condensation, also known as simple coacervation, of a single mussel foot protein-3S-mimicking peptide exhibits properties critical for underwater adhesion. A structurally homogeneous coacervate is deposited on underwater surfaces as micrometer-thick layers, and, after compression, displays orders of magnitude higher underwater adhesion at 2 N m−1 than that reported from thin films of the most adhesive mussel-foot-derived peptides or their synthetic mimics. The increase in adhesion efficiency does not require nor rely on post-deposition curing or chemical processing, but rather represents an intrinsic physical property of the single-component coacervate. Its wet adhesive and rheological properties correlate with significant dehydration, tight peptide packing and restriction in peptide mobility. We suggest that such dense coacervate liquids represent an essential adaptation for the initial priming stages of mussel adhesive deposition, and provide a hitherto untapped design principle for synthetic underwater adhesives.

Graphical abstract: Simple peptide coacervates adapted for rapid pressure-sensitive wet adhesion

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 22 Sep 2017, accepted on 16 Nov 2017 and first published on 16 Nov 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01915G
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 9122-9131

  •   Request permissions

    Simple peptide coacervates adapted for rapid pressure-sensitive wet adhesion

    I. Kaminker, W. Wei, A. M. Schrader, Y. Talmon, M. T. Valentine, J. N. Israelachvili, J. H. Waite and S. Han, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 9122
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01915G

Search articles by author