Ever watched a mosquito suck blood? It’s a silent and stealthy extraction if not for the accompanying itch. By design, the long serrated needle—call it proboscis–mosquitoes use to puncture skin is sheer perfection. It’s closest equivalent are the syringes used in hospitals and for the medical establishment of the future, they simply won’t do.
A team of microengineers from Japan have been working on the problem and so far the prototype they’ve built is an exact replica of a mosquito proboscis. In case you’re wondering, the reason why the mosquito has become a model is because its blood sucking wiles are quick and painless. Apparently, the itch comes around when it injects an anticoagulant to prevent a blood clot, which would obstruct the mosquito’s blood sucking mealtime.
So far the experimental needle has successfully penetrated tissue-like silicon and extracted a red fluid without a hitch. Human tests are forthcoming but the engineers behind this innovation are at pains trying to perfect their needle, which has so far proven a little too brittle.
When it’s finally put to use in the near future, the micro needle will put everyone’s syringe anxiety to bed and doctors can better retrieve samples from their patients.
Source New Scientist
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