Carnegie Mellon University spinoff nanoGriptech has announced the launch of Setex™, the first commercially available gecko-inspired adhesive. Because it is dry and can repeatedly grip to surfaces without leaving a residue, Setex™ addresses the needs of many industries, including automotive, manufacturing, medical, defense, aerospace, and apparel.
nanoGriptech was founded by Mechanical Engineering Professor Metin Sitti, who worked for nearly a decade to understand and synthesize biologically inspired micro/nanostructured adhesives. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, nanoGriptech exemplifies how universities and industry work together to support innovation and economic growth.
“Much like Velcro™ or Kevlar™, we believe Setex™ will disrupt markets because of its many commercial applications. Setex™ is residue-free, strong, and reusable,” says Roi Ben Itzhak, nanoGriptech CFO and vice president of business development.
Setex’s™ glue-free fibers mimic the adhesive qualities of gecko foot hair. Intermolecular forces found at the tips of the hairs enable geckos to walk across ceilings. Like a gecko’s foot, Setex™ can be applied to a variety of surfaces and lifted repeatedly. The synthetic fibers are strong—several square inches of Setex™ will support hundreds of pounds. nanoGriptech researchers can customize their manufacturing techniques at the microscale level to produce materials that are modified for different applications, such as enhancing a robot’s ability to pick up a part or improving the fit of prosthetic limbs on skin.
Founded in 2009, nanoGriptech has earned the university four patents and eight more are pending. The company’s customers include NASA, the Department of Defense, and Fortune 500 companies.