A microscopic view of a replica porcupine quill (Karp Lab/PA)
The hypodermic needle has been around a while—many believe the concept even dates back centuries. Of course, there have been upgrades throughout the years, and now there might be another: Researchers believe porcupine needles could serve as inspiration for a new and improved version.
According to a scientific paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that porcupine needles contain "microscopic backward-facing deployable barbs" that enable penetration and "high tissue adhesion."
In plain English, that means the needles are really good at both breaking the skin and staying in place thanks to the barbs. The discovery could help those who require long-term IVs and be used for medical treatments that require staples to keep a wound from splitting.
The scientists made the discovery by measuring "how much force it took to push in and pull out porcupine quills into pigRead More »from Porcupine quills inspire new type of hypodermic needle