The Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but does not cause damage when removed. (Source: The Karp Lab/Brigham and Women’s Hospital)
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?
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.
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.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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