, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 114–129 | Cite as

Recent advances in gecko adhesion and friction mechanisms and development of gecko-inspired dry adhesive surfaces

  • Ming Zhou
  • Noshir Pesika
  • Hongbo Zeng
  • Yu TianEmail author
  • Jacob Israelachvili
Open Access
Review article


The remarkable ability of geckos to climb and run rapidly on walls and ceilings has recently received considerable interest from many researchers. Significant progress has been made in understanding the attachment and detachment mechanisms and the fabrication of articulated gecko-inspired adhesives and structured surfaces. This article reviews the direct experiments that have investigated the properties of gecko hierarchical structures, i.e., the feet, toes, setae, and spatulae, and the corresponding models to ascertain the mechanical principles involved. Included in this review are reports on gecko-inspired surfaces and structures with strong adhesion forces, high ratios of adhesion and friction forces, anisotropic hierarchical structures that give rise to directional adhesion and friction, and “intelligent” attachment and detachment motions.


gecko feet surfaces setae spatulae anisotropic dry adhesion and friction articulated motion 


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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming Zhou
    • 1
  • Noshir Pesika
    • 2
  • Hongbo Zeng
    • 3
  • Yu Tian
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jacob Israelachvili
    • 4
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of TribologyTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering DepartmentTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemical and Materials EngineeringUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.Department of Chemical Engineering, Materials Research LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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