The parasitic worm Pomphorhynchus laevis hooks tiny sharp barbs on its proboscis into the intestinal walls of its fish host, and then swells its proboscis to lock the needles in place.
(Source: Sebastian Baldauf)
Nice article Ann. Yet another product approach inspired by nature's handiwork.
I am curious about one thing, which is the role that moisture plays in turning the gripping ability on and off. Controlling moisture to the bandage in an organic environment seems, well, uncontrollable given sweat, blood, mucous, etc. How do they get the bandage dry on demand so that it releases?
Wow. They have to look pretty hard for examples in nature to find this parasite's ability to hook onto fish intestines. Fascinating story, Ann. By the way, I recently found out that a hearty 60 percent of species on earth are parasitic, while only 40 percent are non-parasitic.
Clinton, the mechanics aren't wet vs dry, but engorged with fluid so hooks interlock with intestinal walls/wound tissue, vs not engorged so they disconnect from same. You're right, in this environment everything is wet, so getting something dry is not possible, hence, this clever design.
Chuck, I know it seems counterintuitive, but the tiny plastic hooks are so small and flexible/soft that they're supposed to be painless. The whole point of the device is adhering to wounds while not causing pain and then being easy to take off when not engorged with fluid.
Many of the new adhesives we're featuring in this slideshow are for use in automotive and other transportation applications. The rest of these new products are for a wide variety of applications including aviation, aerospace, electrical motors, electronics, industrial, and semiconductors.
A Columbia University team working on molecular-scale nano-robots with moving parts has run into wear-and-tear issues. They've become the first team to observe in detail and quantify this process, and are devising coping strategies by observing how living cells prevent aging.
Many of the new materials on display at MD&M West were developed to be strong, tough replacements for metal parts in different kinds of medical equipment: IV poles, connectors for medical devices, medical device trays, and torque-applying instruments for orthopedic surgery. Others are made for close contact with patients.
New sensor technology integrates sensors, traces, and electronics into a smart fabric for wearables that measures more dimensions -- force, location, size, twist, bend, stretch, and motion -- and displays data in 3D maps.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.