Film-Terminated Fibrillar Microstructures with Improved Adhesion on Skin-like Surfaces

Adhesives for interaction with human skin and tissues are needed for multiple applications. Micropatterned dry adhesives are potential candidates, allowing for a conformal contact and glue-free adhesion based on van der Waals interactions. In this study, we investigate the superior adhesion of film-terminated fibrillar microstructures (fibril diameter, 60 μm; aspect ratio, 3) in contact with surfaces of skin-like roughness (Rz 50 μm). Adhesion decays only moderately with increasing roughness, in contrast to unstructured samples. Sinusoidal model surfaces adhere when their wavelengths exceed about four fibril diameters. The film-terminated microstructure exhibits a saturation of the compressive force during application, implying a pressure safety regime protecting delicate counter surfaces. Applications of this novel adhesive concept are foreseen in the fields of wearable electronics and wound dressing.