Technology at the Intersection of Art, Science and Geckos

Pairing the science of geckos with art preservation, a study from the lab of SEAS Dean T. Kyle Vanderlick brings engineering and the humanities together.

Researchers in the Vanderlick lab have developed a thin sheet with millions of tiny columns known as micropillars. Geckos have similar structures on their feet, which allow them to climb walls so effortlessly. On the polymer sheet, the micropillars create a low-level attraction that picks up dust from artwork, electronics and other sensitive materials without causing damage. To develop the technology, the researchers collaborated with the Yale's Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH) and conservators from Yale museums.

"Art and science have so much to offer each other," Vanderlick said. "A project like this couldn't have happened anywhere but at Yale."

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