Marine organisms have evolved extraordinarily effective adhesives that cure underwater and resist degradation. These underwater adhesives differ dramatically in structure and function and are composed of multiple proteins assembled into functional composites. The processes by which these bioadhesives cure—conformational changes, dehydration, polymerization, and cross-linking—are challenging to quantify because they occur not only underwater but also in a buried interface between the substrate and the organism. In this review, we highlight interfacial optical spectroscopy approaches that can reveal the biochemical processes and structure of marine bioadhesives, with particular emphasis on macrofoulers such as barnacles and mussels.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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