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Anchor Lead: If you or your pet ever gets stuck by a porcupine quill, you’ll see how firmly they stick in skin. So engineers are mimicking their structure…to seal wounds.
Randy Atkins: Porcupine quills have backward facing barbs. Jeff Karp, a bioengineer at Harvard Medical School, says the design makes them hard to remove once they penetrate but…
Jeff Karp: …just a slight brush against it is enough to have these quills insert very easily into the tissue.
Randy Atkins: That won’t be good for you if run across the animal, but Karp thought the concept would work well in a bandage. So he’s engineered plastic quills into…
Jeff Karp: …a tape that could easily just be pressed into the tissue and then it would exhibit very strong levels of adhesion.
Randy Atkins: I know what you’re thinking: “Great, how do you get it off?!” Karp says not to worry…they’d be biodegradable or…
Jeff Karp: …change their mechanical properties over time so it would be much easier to remove.