In a bid to tackle major illness and serious diseases, medical researchers are increasingly turning to the natural world for solutions. Innovations in brain surgery, cancer treatment and implants are being accredited to wasps, jellyfish and spiders. This field of medicine is known as ‘bioinspiration’ in which scientists and doctors are unlocking nature’s secrets to advance medical procedures.
Jellyfish Tentacles to Tackle Cancer
Jellyfish, with their ability to catch food through their long tentacles, have helped to develop a new treatment to tackle blood cancer. Researchers have created a microchip that uses tiny strands of DNA to grab and hold tumour cells in the bloodstream. This microchip can count and sort cancer cells to give indications as to how well treatments, like chemotherapy, are working.
Brain Surgery Inspired by Wasps
Brain surgery is set to be transformed by the unique feature of one incredible species of wasp. The hollow, needle-like probe of the female wood-boring wasp has helped in the development of a new brain probe. Scientists have created a robotic needle to deliver drugs to the brain that mimics the wasp’s probe which it uses to deposit eggs in the wood of dead trees.
Although the development of a new brain probe is useless unless it can pass clinical trials, clinical staffing solutions is a way of ensuring trials are carried out by properly qualified medical professionals. Finding the right clinical medical solutions is key to continuing the development of natural based medicine. For more information, check out clinical staffing solutions.
Stitching Wounds with Porcupine Quills
Medical scientists have now developed surgical staples based on the quills of the North American Porcupine. The quills are sharp, with microscopic backwards-facing barbs on their tips. The design allows a quill to easily penetrate the skin, but barbs flare out if the quill is pulled, making it difficult to remove. Experts at Harvard University have discovered this natural design is perfect for surgical staples.
Spider Silk Implants
Spider silk is not as strong as steel, as some would have you believe, but it is a wonderful natural material. It’s strong, durable, flexible and most importantly, biocompatible (doesn’t get rejected by the human immune system). Researchers at Oxford University have now created a knee implant, using the same molecules as spider silk to treat damaged joint cartilage.