Medical Breakthroughs Reported by Ivanhoe.com

General Health Channel

http://www.ivanhoe.com

Advances in health and medicine.

/scripts/p_search.cfm

Reported December 17, 2012

Porcupine Inspiration for Medical Devices?

 

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Inspiration can come from anywhere, and sometimes animals are a great source of new ideas. A new study reveals how porcupine quills penetrate tissues and why they are so tough to pull out, leading researchers to believe the knowledge could inspire future medical devices. 
 
Real porcupine quills and replica quills made out of synthetic polyurethane were used to analyze the physical forces that occur when porcupine quills enters and are then removed from muscle and skin, as well as other different tissues. 
 
Researchers discovered that the shape of the quills allow them to penetrate tissues without difficulty and then stick in. 
 
Probably a result of evolution, porcupines’ quills need to easily penetrate skin and muscle since the quills cannot shoot through the air.
 
“We were most surprised to find that the barbs on quills serve a dual function. Namely, the barbs reduce the penetration force for easy insertion into tissue and maximize the holding force to make the quills incredibly difficult to remove,” study author Jeffrey Karp, Ph.D., BWH Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine. 
 
Study researchers have high hopes for the future applications of this information in the medical community. 
“Towards medical applications we developed plastic replicas that remarkably mimicked the reduced penetration force and increased pullout. This should be useful to develop next generation medical adhesives and potentially design needles with reduced pain,” Karp was quoted as saying.
 
Maybe one day the porcupine will be who to thank for painless injections. 
 
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, December, 2012
 

 

For a FREE weekly e-mail update of upcoming Medical Breakthroughs from Ivanhoe.com, sign up at /FirstToKnow/.

Advances in health and medicine.
webdoctor@ivanhoe.com
Copyright © 2014 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.
2745 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 740-0789

P.O. Box 865
Orlando, Florida 32802

We subscribe to the HONcode principles of the Health 
On the Net Foundation. Click here to verify.We subscribe to the
HONcode principles of the
Health On the Net Foundation.
Verify here.