Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nicholas Aldred
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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. This chapter summarises recent progress towards the characterisation of bioadhesives secreted by the larvae of marine invertebrates, with reference also to their subsequent developmental stages. These adhesives vary structurally and biochemically between species and between life stages to satisfy the requirements of the particular organism for permanent or temporary/reversible adhesion, often under hostile conditions. To date, a small number of bioadhesives have been described for the adult forms of marine invertebrates, while a functional understanding of larval adhesives remains elusive. Progress is essential, however, since the larval forms perform a key role in the fouling of marine structures, and their adhesives may have characteristics of interest for development of synthetic, bio-inspired glues. Despite recent advances in the fields of proteomics and genomics, major obstacles exist in the isolation and analysis of tiny quantities of larval adhesives, which have largely precluded these approaches. Further challenges relate to the in situ detection of larval adhesive materials, being usually secreted underwater and buried at the interface between a solid substrate and the organism’s body. Here, we discuss a range of novel experimental approaches that have surmounted these technical issues and provided useful insight into the morphology and composition of larval bioadhesives in situ. These involve imaging and spectroscopic approaches as well as nano-/micromechanical and surface-sensitive techniques that have enabled quantification of adhesion forces and surface adsorption of purified adhesive proteins.
Author(s): Aldred N, Petrone L
Publication type: Book Chapter
Publication status: Published
Book Title: Biological Adhesives, Second Edition
Print publication date: 23/10/2016
Acceptance date: 02/04/2016
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item