Science has finally understood how mussels are able to stick to their rock

Science has finally understood how mussels are able to stick to their rock

Have you ever wondered how mussels manage to stick to their rock? Researchers who have been working on this question for nearly a decade have found the answer. They have already succeeded in deciphering the mystery of the underwater glue of mussels at the cellular level.

Super strong underwater glue

blue mussel species Mytilus edulis They have been affected by bloating all their lives. But how can they remain so attached to their rock or to their mates? According to science, this is possible thanks to a Highly effective underwater glue. However, the latter can find multiple uses for humans in humid environments.

Scientists from McGill University (Canada) have understood the secrets of this famous gum after a decade of research. The results were published in the journal Science October 8, 2021. The relevant study Describes the cellular mechanism Allow the molds to make that extra strong glue underwater.

Credits: McGill University

Amazing manufacturing process

“The exact mechanism by which molds produce the adhesive has hitherto been shrouded in mystery, as everything happens out of sight within the base of the mold. To understand the mechanisms involved, we have applied advanced spectroscopic and microscopic techniques and developed an experimental approach that combines several methodologies. […] of biochemistry, chemistry, and materials science”Tobias Bremmel, lead author of the study, said: Official press release.

By collecting data at the cellular level, scientists have made an amazing discovery. At the foot of the mussels, there are microscopic tubes that are responsible for directing certain substances. These come together to form the famous glue. In these tubes, mussels secretes protein fluid which will mix with metal ions. These come from seawater and are initially stored in vesicles. The iron and vanadium ions are then slowly released, the purpose of which is to turn the protein liquid into papain. In addition, you should know that this process takes place within the listed time Just two to three minutes.

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For Canadian researchers, mussel glue Can be used by humans Especially in humid environments. It can have, for example, applications in surgery, dental care and treatment or even in construction and in certain industries. The next step for researchers will be Understand how to reproduce this glue Very strong in a completely synthetic way.

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