Regenerative medicine based on octopus suction cups
Velcro (based on how some plant seeds stick to the fur of livestock), the shape of the nose of trains (similar to some birds to improve aerodynamics) or Kevlar (based on the shape of some spider webs) are just some examples of how man has learned how to look at nature and applied it to technologies new in various fields. Obviously, medicine can not be less.
Tissue grafts and the use of small flexible electronic devices are widely used tools in Regenerative medicine or wound healing. However, in many cases, surgeons have serious problems To manipulate these sensitive and inconsistent elements. Fortunately, nature offers clues to a possible solution, as evidenced by a new device created by a team of researchers from University of Illinois Inspired by the octopus suction cup. The invention is capable of transferring soft tissue or electronic papers into a patient’s body with record speed and accuracy.
One of the fundamental problems in tissue culture practice, such as corneal transplant surgery, is finding a secure way to ensure surgical grip in soft tissue transfer. Handling these live materials remains a major challenge, as they are fragile and wrinkle easily when removed from the culture media, Heonjun Kong, a professor of chemical and biological molecular engineering at Illinois, said in a university statement.
Experts looked at the way octopuses and squids handle any object under different circumstances.
sought expert group A method for rapidly adhering and releasing thin, delicate sheets of cell cultures without damaging them, which led them to turn to the animal kingdom for inspiration: They observed how an octopus or cuttlefish is able to catch anything, wet or dry, simply by pressing its suction cups against its target. Instead of developing a chemical adhesive, the researchers had an idea: mimic the suction cups of an octopus to design a new device with similar gripping power.
Researchers whose study was recently published in the journal Science advancesthey made A surgical manipulator made of a soft, temperature-sensitive hydrogel layer, which was fixed with an electric heater. The device works like this: every time you want to process a very thin sheet or fabric, they gently heat the hydrogel to shrink it. Then the product is slightly expanded, absorbing soft tissue or electronic film. Then they place the object where it is intended and turn off the heater, which causes the gel to peel off the tissue. The entire process takes only about 10 seconds, and can be carried out in a convenient and graceful manner, according to the researchers themselves.
Incorporation of biosensors
Experts took the opportunity to Integration of sensors that can help improve adherence to the new deviceIn order to “monitor the deformation of the target objects during contact, and thus adjust the suction strength to a level where the materials retain their structural integrity and functionality,” Kong says. and tissues transfused by this new processor.”
The invention is still a prototype, and future research will be necessary to ensure its safe practice, but it does give us an idea of the extent Nature-based solutions (a technology called biomimetic) can help us find new ways.
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