This article summarizes a number of biomedical advances inspired by nature, including:
- more efficient hearing aids based on the parastic fly Ormia ochracea
- butterflies and structural color; butterflies inspiration for Dr. Cyril Clarke to develop anti-D. a treatment for rhesus negative babies suffering from anemia
- controlled stiffness implants inspired by sea cucumbers
- adhesives and bandages inspired by geckos and mussels
- synthetic spider silk for sutures
The article closes by pointing out the difficulty of developing nature-inspired innovations. The innovation must serve a need, work better and be cheaper than the alternatives, and involve known manufacturing techniques. Learning how nature manufactures at a nano-scale (such as using DNA, viruses and diatoms as templates) may be critical to new applications.
Thanks to Jo Lakeland and BIONIS for the pointer!