Epiphragm Illustration (IMAGE) University of Pennsylvania Caption Snails can anchor themselves in place using a structure known as an epiphragm. The snail's slimy secretion works its way into the pores found on even seemingly smooth surfaces, then hardens, providing strong adhesion that can be reversed when the slime softens. Penn Engineers have developed a new material that works in a similar way. Credit Younghee Lee Usage Restrictions With Credit License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.