Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

This is my personal virtual library, where i collect information, which leads in my view to Intelligent Design as the best explanation of the origin of the physical Universe, life, and biodiversity

You are not connected. Please login or register

Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Intelligent Design » Learning from mosquitos to create “a nicer needle

Learning from mosquitos to create “a nicer needle

Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]


Learning from mosquitos to create “a nicer needle

Materials researchers and engineers at Kansai University in Japan saw amazing potential in the structure of the mosquito’s mouth. They used sophisticated engineering techniques that can carve out structures on the nanometer scale. The result of this blend of materials science and biology was a needle that penetrates like a mosquito, using pressure to stabilize and painlessly glide into skin. Tests proved it worked flawlessly.

Realistic imitation of mosquito's proboscis: Electrochemically etched sharp and jagged needles and their cooperative inserting motion

Do mosquitoes bite you (or any other animal)? No, they have no teeth, so they don’t bite in the traditional sense. What they do have is an elongated set of mouthparts called a proboscis. The sheath on the outside retracts as the longer parts inside pierce the skin like a hypodermic needle. Only this is a flexible hypodermic needle, small enough to go around individual cells and look for a small vein or venule.

The efficient drill of the wood-boring wasp’s ovipositor (an egg-laying spike) works on the same basis. Two toothed blades ratchet a central drill deeper and deeper into the wood. Because of the efficiency of this design, no motor is needed–just the delicate force the wasp exerts. This goal of guided, smooth penetration is exactly what neurosurgeons need in their tools.
Researchers at Imperial College and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK have applied engineering techniques similar to those of their colleagues at Kansai, achieving similar results. They showed that a neuroprobe tipped with this biomimetic design required the least amount of force to move.

The squarish objects are skin cells, and the red streaks are blood vessels. The second video in the sequence shows what happens when the proboscis finds a vessel and starts to suck out the blood. Makes you respect the mosquito a bit more – these are some determined females.


"In mosquitoes the proboscis is a marvelously intricate structure…consisting of six different stylets, each adapted for a particular purpose--for making the primary incision, inserting anti-coagulant and digestive enzymes contained in the insect's saliva and, finally, withdrawing the blood itself. All the stylets are secreted within a protective sheath formed by the labium or lower lip, which, during blood extraction, is slid up out of the way into a loop form." (Wootton 1984:72)

The less force a neurosurgeon can use, the more they can be certain to leave your brain undamaged, thus preserving your memories of cult 80’s movies.

View user profile

Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum