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Inspired by the reversible adhesion behaviors of geckos, the effects of pre-tension in a bio-inspired nano-film and a hierarchical structure on adhesion are studied theoretically. In the case with a uniformly distributing pre-tension in a spatula-like nano-film under peeling, a closed-form solution to a critical peeling angle is derived, below or above which the peel-off force is enhanced or reduced, respectively, compared with the case without pre-tension. The effects of a non-uniformly distributing pre-tension on adhesion are further investigated for both a spatula-like nano-film and a hierarchical structure-like gecko's seta. Compared with the case without pre-tension, the pre-tension, no matter uniform or non-uniform, can increase the adhesion force not only for the spatula-like nano-film but also for the hierarchical structure at a small peeling angle, while decrease it at a relatively large peeling angle. Furthermore, if the pre-tension is large enough, the effective adhesion energy of a hierarchical structure tends to vanish at a critical peeling angle, which results in spontaneous detachment of the hierarchical structure from the substrate. The present theoretical predictions can not only give some explanations on the existing experimental observation that gecko's seta always detaches at a specific angle and no apparent adhesion force can be detected above the critical angle but also provide a deep understanding for the reversible adhesion mechanism of geckos and be helpful to the design of biomimetic reversible adhesives.