The focus of most next generation adhesive technologies is to try and incorporate reusability as one of their natural properties.
This ability is very important for a lot of futuristic applications, as the opportunity to modify designs on an as needed makes them quite versatile.
A lot of these adhesive technologies try to look towards nature for inspiration, as there are many species that can produce reusable adhesion by design.
One of the most famous examples of this ability are the sucker disks found on the tentacles of octopus, which Korean scientists now claim to have reproduced.
These scientists belong to the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST).
They used a rubbery polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) studded with an array of tiny pores in order to create adhesive pads that are both reversible and reusable.
These pores are lined with a thermally-responsive polymer, which relaxes and contracts just like real octopus sucker discs to create suction.
What this means is that this material can be made reusable just by changing the temperature of the material. The team is now working on a way to create other types of shapes and sizes for these materials, which would carry out specific types of adhesion jobs.