What you may not know – my husband, Joe, was hit by an enemy grenade while serving in Iraq which destroyed his right leg.  We tried every option available to save his leg and heal his wounds.  One of his worst wounds was a hole that exposed the bones in his foot.  He had a skin graft taken from his right thigh and transplanted to cover this hole.

I will never forget the days immediately following Joe’s skin graft.  Ouch.  Those were painful days for him.  We were constantly watching the area and treating it to prevent infection.  One of the worst parts was the knowledge that the graft may not take and need to be redone.

Fortunately, researchers may have found a way to streamline this procedure. Bioengineer Jeffrey Karp has created an adhesive that could make skin grafting easier.

Where did he find his inspiration for this adhesive?  Parasites.  Karp explored parasites and how they attach themselves to hosts.  He used the parasites attachment method to create an adhesive with microneedles.  These microneedles swell when exposed to water, which causes them to adhere to surfaces.

When a patient needs a skin graft, they need the best possible outcome because this is a hard, painful procedure.  I hope this new adhesive will make a difference.

There are so many opportunities to utilize this new technology.  I am interested to see it come into practice.

Learn  more about the applications of this new advancement:

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/36093/title/Sticking-Power/#articleComments

 

 

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