Bioinspired Hierarchical Structures for Contact-Sensible Adhesives

Hong Hu, Duorui Wang, Hongmiao Tian, Qiyao Huang, Chunhui Wang, Xiaoliang Chen, Yuan Gao, Xiangming Li, Xiaoming Chen, Zijian Zheng, Jinyou Shao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Bioinspired structural adhesives that are capable of bonding two objects together have recently found widespread applications in industrial fields, because of their promising reusability and environmental friendliness. However, such adhesives are usually monofunctional and cannot yield real-time detection on the adhesion status, which is important for both biological systems (e.g., Gecko) and engineered mimics. This study reports a new hierarchical structure with the monolithic integration of adhesion and sensing functions, namely, contact-sensible adhesive (CSA). The proposed CSA is composed of mushroom-shaped microstructures on the top layer for providing strong adhesion, and a pillar array sandwiched by a pair of foil electrodes on the bottom layer as a compliant backing and a capacitive sensor. The CSA is not only sensitive to the external pressure, tension, and shear loads, but also shows enhanced adhesion on uneven surfaces, due to the high compliance of the hierarchical system. As a proof of concept, the as-prepared CSA is applied as a contact interface in a gripper to complete the grasping task.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • adhesive structures
  • bioinspired adhesion
  • capacitive sensors
  • grasping task
  • uneven surfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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