SIMI VALLEY, Calif. - In the waters off the Santa Barbara coast, scientific researchers are looking closely at shellfish clinging to rocks.
Wet adhesive is a topic that Santa Susana High School senior Kai Chorazewicz is passionate about after taking part in the University of Santa Barbara's research mentorship program over the summer.
"It shocked me that we can we can combine all these different sciences that you wouldn't expect that could be combined to make something so unique as a wet adhesive," Chorazewicz said.
The six-week summer course examined the power of mussels and how they adhere under water.
"Imagine you have a boat that has a hole in it, and you need to seal the hole but it's under water, you couldn't use duct tape because it wouldn't stick," Chorazewicz said to his classmates.
Chorazewicz said normal tape is only useful if it is dry as it does not stick at all when wet.
"You need a tape that would stick under water and this mussel chemistry and this mussel-inspired tape can work like that," Chorazewicz said.
Chorazewicz was fascinated seeing how researchers from marine science, chemistry, nano-engineering and bio medicine all work together to develop an adhesive that can one day be put to practical use.