News & Interest : Porcupines Inspiring Medical Practice

This week I’m sharing a little insight into one of the most unpleasant part of a visit to a vet or doctor: the needles. Scientists are studying porcupine quills to learn about better ways to make needles so they’re less painful. It’s a bit of proof that innovation can be inspired by the most unusual things!

The tip of a single quill on a North American porcupine holds as many as 700 backwards-facing barbs that can lodge into the flesh of any animal that wanders too close.
For the first time, scientists have figured out how those barbs work together to make it is so easy for quills to penetrate tissue but so hard to pull them out.

800px Porcupine NPS11952


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