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Last Updated: Thursday July 27 2006 09:59 GMT

Tiny lizards inspire spider-suit

Gecko
Climbing the wall like Spider-Man might not be too far off, as scientists have come up with a high-tech material that is super-sticky.

They looked at the way geckos cling on to surfaces like glass, and copied the little lizards' climbing technique.

The material, called Synthetic Gecko, has millions of tiny mushroom-like hairs that grip on to things.

It could be used to patch up holes in air-craft, or, excitingly, to make a special climbing suit.

Synthetic Gecko material
Synthetic gecko seen under a microscope
However, the team say they haven't got the material perfect yet.

"The material we have made so far will hold a family car to a roof, or an elephant if you wish" says Dr Sajad Haq, one of the team's top scientists.

"We're not quite at the level of mimicking the sticking power of the gecko."



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