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Looking to mosquitoes for a way to develop painless microneedles

Researchers at The Ohio State University believe that we can learn from nature’s design of the mosquito to create a painless microneedle for medical purposes.

In a recently published paper, Bharat Bhushan, Ohio Eminent Scholar and his colleagues reported on their detailed analysis of the mosquito’s proboscis — the part that feeds on us.

 They identified four keys to how the insects pierce us without pain: use of a numbing agent; a serrated design to the “needle”; vibration during the piercing; and a combination of soft and hard parts on the proboscis.He further  said that right now, needles are very simple.

There hasn’t been much innovation and there’s a way to try something different.

The study was jointly led by Bhushan and Navin Kumar, a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar.

Ohio State doctoral student Dev Guerra is also a co-author. Their results are published online in the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials.

For this study, the researchers extensively reviewed work already done by entomologists about mosquitoes, but with a particular focus.

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