Influence of Topography on Adhesion and Bioadhesion

  • Donglee Shin
  • J. Carson MeredithEmail author
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 284)


Nature, through evolution, has developed many different structured adhesive systems to create strong and reliable adhesion on various substrates, including those with rough or smooth surfaces under dry and wet conditions. However, the details of the adhesive interactions of structured or roughened surfaces are just beginning to be resolved. This chapter examines the physical principles of dry and wet adhesion of structured surfaces from simple to complex geometries. A particular emphasis is placed on bioadhesive systems that achieve an impressive level of control over adhesion via fascinating structural features such as fibrils and spines. The influence of surface morphology and roughness on adhesion is also covered. Recent studies show that the attachment abilities of bioadhesive systems are dramatically reduced below a critical roughness. Based on this and other principles borrowed from nature, strategies can be pursued to create anti-adhesive surfaces via manipulating the surface topography of the substrate.


Adhesion Bioadhesion Contact mechanics Surface morphology Surface topography 

List of Abbreviations


Hamaker constant


Contact area


Slip length


Coefficient in the atom-atom pair potential


Separation distance


Cutoff separation distance


Separation distance (wet adhesion models)


Interplanar separation


External loading force


Pull-off force (DMT model)


Pull-off force (JKR model)


Meniscus height


Thickness of liquid film


Elastic modulus


Proportionality factor (Rabinovich’s model)


Azimuthal radius


Total number of liquid bridges

p1, p2

Number of atoms in unit volume


Peak height distribution function


Radius of sphere


Contact radius


Radius of sphere (Rumpf’s model, Rabinovich’s model)


Mean peak radius


Radius of sphere (JKR model, DMT model)


Radius of sphere (wet adhesion models)


Radius of small hemispherical asperities (Rumpf’s, Rabinovich’s models)


Meridional radius




Work of adhesion


Ratio between the contact radius and half of the cutoff separation distance

γ, γl

Surface tension


Viscosity of liquid

θ, θl

Contact angle


Peak-to-peak distance


Filling angle


Meniscus area


Laplace pressure


Correction factor to account for the effect of a partial slip boundary


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Renewable Biomaterials Institute, Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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