A Phenol-Amine Superglue Inspired by Insect Sclerotization Process

Younseon Wang, Eun Je Jeon, Jeehee Lee, Honggu Hwang, Seung Woo Cho, Haeshin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Exoskeletons of insects formed by sclerotization processes exhibit superstrong properties in moduli. Here, it is demonstrated that mimicking the sclerotization process using phenol and polyamine molecules unexpectedly results in a 100% ecofriendly, biocompatible waterborne superglue. Oxygen presented in air and dissolved in water acts as an initiator producing phenolic radical/quinone for superglue curing. Despite synthesis-free uses of water, phenol, and polyamine, its adhesion strength is comparable to commercial epoxy glue showing >6 MPa in lap shear strength. The phenol-amine superglue bonds to various substrates including ceramics, woods, fabrics, plastics, metals, and importantly biological tissues. Due to strong adhesion, the superglue effectively seals wounds within a few seconds, and, due to its waterborne nature, no harmful respiratory effect is observed because of any release of volatile organic compounds. The easy, cost-effective preparation of the phenol-amine superglue can revolutionize varieties of industrial, biomedical, daily life processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2002118
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Y.W. and E.J.J. contributed equally to this work. This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT): Development program for convergence R&D over traditional culture and current technology (2016M3C1B5906485, H.L.), Center for Multiscale Chiral Architectures (2018R1A5A1025208, H.L.), and Bio & Medical Technology Development Program (2018M3A9H1021382, S.-W.C). This work was also supported by the KIST Institutional Program (Project 2V07080, H.L.), the Institute for Basic Science (IBS-R026-D1, S.-W.C), and Brain Korea 21(BK21) PLUS program. E.J.J. is fellowship awardee by BK21 PLUS program. This research was partially supported by the Graduate School of YONSEI University Research Scholarship Grants in 2020. All animal experiment protocols were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of the Yonsei University (approval number: IACUC-A-201707-292-01).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Phenol-Amine Superglue Inspired by Insect Sclerotization Process'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this