• Strategy

Ligament used to reopen shells: bivalve mollusks


Giant clam / derrekkeats / LicenseCC-by-sa - Attribution Share Alike

A ligament in bivalve mollusks can reopen closed shells due to the presence of abductin, an elastic protein.

"Another protein rubber is abductin found in the shell-opening ligaments of bivalve mollusks. One or two adductor muscles hold the two halfshells or valves of a bivalve closed (the edible part of a scallop is one of these muscles). Closing compresses the ligament, so its elastic resiliency can reopen the shell if the muscles relax. Interestingly, scallops, which swim by repeatedly clapping their valves together, recover a greater fraction of the work done on their abductin than do clams and other more sedentary forms." (Vogel 2003:304)
About the inspiring organism

Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Nanosprings that mimic abductin, replacement for some applications for industrial rubber, microactuators.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Nanotechnology, materials science

Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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