Nature as a role model – Researchers approach mystery of mussel “glue”

Miesmuscheln, Mytilus edulis

Canadian researchers have apparently come a little closer to the mystery of shell glue.

Mussels spend their days in the midst of thundering waves and still do not wash off. If the “glue” they use can be simulated, the technique could perhaps be used in operation or at the dentist. Canadian researchers have now understood what the shell is made of and how it is made. Science team results im fuchgazin science written.

There are small canals in the feet of the mussels. Around it are small bubbles filled with either a concentrated mixture of proteins or metal ions. The contents of these vesicles can be released into the tubules in a very controlled manner. Adhesive is mixed on site as needed. A special feature: the metal ions are often vanadium, which the mussels absorb from sea water. So far, only a few organisms are known to collect vanadium. The metal acts as a mussel to harden their glue.

This message was broadcast on Deutschlandfunk on October 9, 2021.

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