The European Network of Bioadhesion Expertise (ENBA) had its first Expertise Meeting on March 6th - 7th, 2017 at the Natural History Museum Vienna, organized by Janek von Byern from the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology and Norbert Cyran from the Core Facility Cell Imaging and Ultrastructure, University of Vienna. ENBA is part of the COST network (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), uniting experts in the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and engineering the study biological adhesion. The network is chaired by professor Stanislav Gorb from the University of Kiel. The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology is in charge of the financial and project management.
Bioadhesives are produced by a vast variety of animals: the salamander Ambystoma opacum, the snail Helix pomatia, the bobtail squid Idiosepius biserialis, Mytilus mussels and many more. Also plants rely on the secretion of adhesives, most noticeably in the sticky traps of carnivorous plants. Knowledge about these materials in terms of composition, structural design and interactions with surfaces is necessary to reveal the basic biochemical and mechanical principles involved in biological adhesion. The aim is to find adhesives which are not only equal to or better than common synthetically produced glues, but also distinguish themselves through better biocompatibility.