Water is the nemesis of practical adhesive bonding, yet the rocky intertidal seashore is home to a host of organisms that spend their lives attached to solid surfaces surrounded and assaulted by water and waves. Dopa seems a key to adhesion in many of these organisms.

Living organisms are equipped with a variety of implements, which help them cope with the more physical challenges of survival. These include teeth, fangs, beaks, spines, claws etc, essential in feeding, defense, and predation.

Self healing in the context of living organisms is usually associated with cell-mediated processes as in platelet-mediated blood coagulation after a cut. Some biomaterials, however, show intrinsic healing not dependent on cells.