11 Feb 2017

Bioinspiration - medical solutions from nature

From This Way Up, 12:35 pm on 11 February 2017
Porcupine Quills

Porcupine quills Photo: (Flickr user largestartist CC BY 2.0)

A biodegradeable adhesive patch to seal a hole in a child's growing heart that's inspired by slugs, sea worms and snails...

A way of suturing wounds using principles derived from the porcupine quill...

These are just two of the advances made possible by the emerging science of bioinspiration (also known as bioengineering) which involves closely studying nature and using it as a guide to solving some of the toughest problems facing modern medicine.

Jeff Karp is a bioengineer working at Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School.

A surgical patch derived from nature to be used on child's growing heart 2

A surgical patch derived from nature Photo: Supplied