Mosquito inspired medical needles

Torben Anker Lenau, Thomas Hesselberg, Alexandros Dimitrios Drakidis, Patricia Silva, Silvana Gomes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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The stinging proboscis in mosquitos have diameters of only 40-100 μm which is much less than the thinnest medical needles and the mechanics of these natural stinging mechanisms have therefore attracted attention amongst developers of injection devises. The mosquito use a range of different strategies to lower the required penetration force hence allowing a thinner and less stiff proboscis structure. Earlier studies of the mosquito proboscis insertion strategies have shown how each of the single strategies reduces the required penetration force. The present paper gives an overview of the advanced set of mechanisms that allow the mosquito to penetrate human skin and also presents other biological mechanisms that facilitate skin penetration. Results from experiments in a skin mimic using biomimetic equivalents to the natural mechanisms are presented. This includes skin stretching, insertion speed and vibration. Combining slow insertion speed with skin tension and slow vibration reduces the penetration force with 40%
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSPIE Conference on Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2017
EditorsMato Knez, Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Raúl J. Martín-Palma
Number of pages13
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2017
Article number1016208
ISBN (Electronic)9781510608092
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventBioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2017 - Portland, Oregon, United States
Duration: 25 Mar 201725 Mar 2017


ConferenceBioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPortland, Oregon


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