Scientists Develop Octopus Inspired Sucker To Transfer Delicate Tissue Grafts And Biosensors

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Transfering thin, delicate tissue grafts and biosensors using Octopus-inspired sucker

Thin tissue grafts and flexible electronics plays a great role in wound recovery, biosensing, and regenerative medicines. A novel tool inspired by an octopus’s sucker quickly transfers delicate tissues or electronic sheets to the individual. As per the scientists at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and collaborators, this tool overcomes a vital obstacle to the scientific application.

Hyunjoon Kong, study leader, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, Illinois, said that cell or tissue sheets had been significantly used to treat injured or diseased cells for the past few years. A significant aspect of tissue transplant surgery, like corneal tissue transplantation, is surgical gripping and soft tissues’ safe transplantation. But, dealing with these living substances is a huge challenge since they are vulnerable and quickly topple when picking them up from the culture media.

Kong’s group, with its partners at Purdue University, the Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, South Korea, the University of Illinois, Chicago, released their research study in the journal of Science Advances.

Present ways of transferring the sheets entail culturing these sheets on a temperature-sensitive soft polymer that shrinks and releases the thin film when transferred. According to Kong, this method takes 30-60 mins to transfer a single sheet, needs skillful specialists, and drives the danger of wrinkling or tearing.

Kong stated that doctors should decrease the danger of harm to soft tissues and transplant immediately throughout surgery, avoiding any contamination. Also, the transfer of ultrathin materials without wrinkles or damages is an additional crucial element.

Searching for a method to rapidly pick up and release the thin, fragile cell sheets or electronic devices without harming them, the scientists looked to the animal kingdom for influence. The idea of using developing this tool came after understanding the method of how an octopus or squid picks wet and dry things of all shapes with minimal pressure modifications in their muscle-powered suction cups.

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All About Extremophiles & Its Research Applications
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All About Extremophiles & Its Research Applications

A manipulator constructed from a temperature-responsive layer of soft hydrogel connected to a heating unit was developed by the scientists. The scientists delicately heated the hydrogel to shrink it, press it to the sheet, and turn off the heating unit to pick up the thin sheet. The hydrogel broadens lightly, developing suction with the soft tissue or soft electronic film to be uplifted and transferred. After that, the scientists smoothly positioned the thin film on the target and the heating unit, shrinking the hydrogel and releasing the sheet, which takes around ten seconds only.

Later, the scientists wish to combine biosensors and the manipulator to use their model better.

Kong stated that by incorporating pressure sensors with the manipulator, it would be feasible to control the deformation of target objects while also contacting and, consequently, modifying the suction force to a level at which products maintain their structural stability and performance.

He further stated that the safety and accuracy of dealing with these products could be improved by doing so. Furthermore, they intend to analyze the curative efficiency of cells and tissues transferred by the soft manipulator.

This study was backed by the Department of Defense’s Vision Research Program, the National Institutes of Health, the Jump Applied Research in Community Health, and the National Science Foundation.

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Transfering thin, delicate tissue grafts and biosensors using Octopus-inspired sucker

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