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Nature. 2004 Dec 9;432(7018):690.

Adhesion: elastocapillary coalescence in wet hair.

Author information

1
Physique et Mécanique des Milieux Hétérogènes (UMR CNRS 7636), ESPCI, 75231 Paris Cedex 5, France. jbico@pmmh.espci.fr

Abstract

We investigated why wet hair clumps into bundles by dunking a model brush of parallel elastic lamellae into a perfectly wetting liquid. As the brush is withdrawn, pairs of bundles aggregate successively, forming complex hierarchical patterns that depend on a balance between capillary forces and the elasticity of the lamellae. This capillary-driven self-assembly of flexible structures, which occurs in the tarsi of insects and in biomimetic adhesives but which can also damage micro-electromechanical structures or carbon nanotube 'carpets', represents a new type of coalescence process.

PMID:
15592402
DOI:
10.1038/432690a
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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