Footprint proteins used by cypris larvae of barnacles allow them to temporarily adhere during pre-settlement exploration via hydrophobic chemical interactions.

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"Cypris larvae of the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides leave proteinaceous footprints on surfaces during pre-settlement exploration. These footprints are considered to mediate temporary adhesion of cyprids to substrata and, as such, represent a crucial first step in the colonization of man-made surfaces by barnacles, a process known as biofouling. Interest in this system also stems from the potential for a synthetic reversible adhesion system, based on the strategy used by cypridsFootprint proteins adhered with greater tenacity to the hydrophobic tip. This may suggest conformational change and denaturing of the protein which would facilitate hydrophobic interaction by enhancing contact forces between -CH3 functionalized tips and hydrophobic groups in the footprint molecule(s). Neither tip removed proteins from the -NH2 substratum suggesting that specific chemical interactions, rather than simple wetting phenomena, govern the adhesion of footprint proteins to that surface." (Phang et al. 2009:616)

Journal article
Chemistry-Specific Interfacial Forces Between Barnacle ( Semibalanus Balanoides ) Cyprid Footprint Proteins and Chemically Functionalised AFM TipsThe Journal of AdhesionSeptember 4, 2009
In Yee Phang, Nick Aldred, Xing Yi Ling, Nikodem Tomczak, Jurriaan Huskens, Anthony S. Clare, G. Julius Vancso

Journal article
In Situ Imaging of Barnacle ( Balanus amphitrite ) Cyprid Cement Using Confocal Raman MicroscopyThe Journal of AdhesionApril 28, 2009
Martin Schmidt, Andreia Cavaco, Notburga Gierlinger, Nick Aldred, Peter Fratzl, Michael Grunze, Anthony S. Clare

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Organism
Acorn BarnacleSemibalanus balanoidesSpecies


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