Structures and function of remora adhesion

Jason H. Nadler, Allison J. Mercer, Michael Culler, Keri A. Ledford, Ryan Bloomquist, Angela Lin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

19 Scopus citations


Remoras (echeneid fish) reversibly attach and detach to marine hosts, almost instantaneously, to "hitchhike" and feed. The adhesion mechanisms that they use are remarkably insensitive to substrate topology and quite différent from the latching and suction cup-based systems associated with other species at similar length scales. Remora adhesion is also anisotropic; drag forces induced by the swimming host increase adhesive strength, while rapid detachment occurs when the remora reverses this shear load. In this work, an investigation of the adhesive system's functional morphology and tissue properties was carried out initially through dissection and x-ray microtomographic analyses. Resulting finite element models of these components have provided new insights into the adaptive, hierarchical nature of the mechanisms and a path toward a wide range of engineering applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiomimetic, Bio-Inspired and Self-Assembled Materials for Engineered Surfaces and Applications
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 MRS Fall Meeting - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Nov 25 2012Nov 30 2012

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other2012 MRS Fall Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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