Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Design Iinspired by Nature: Octopus

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Science & Society, Nature of Science, History of Science, Biodiversity, Medicine, Health, Nature.

Ed Hessler

This paper is about an innovation for the specific delivery of drugs that are not easily absorbed. The procedure is based on a nature-inspired solution. The field is known as biomimicry.

Please don't let the title keep you from taking a look. The editor of the journal Science Translational Medicine provides a summary. 

Proteins, peptides, and other macromolecular drugs are generally not well-absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and therefore usually require intravenous administration. Here, Luo and colleagues engineered a suction patch modelled on octopus suckers that stretched the buccal mucosa, allowing for increased absorption. When combined with permeation enhancers, the suction patch could improve the bioavailability of desmopressin over the oral formulation in beagles. The authors also conducted a first-in-human test of the suction patch, finding that short-term use was acceptable to participants. Although further study is needed, these findings suggest that the octopus sucker–inspired buccal mucosa suction patch might be an alternative for some drugs that can currently only be given parenterally. —Melissa Norton

The summary is followed by the author's abstract, always worth reading as are the methods and methods. By reading I mean scanning.

Plow on if you like, especially the introduction but I want to call your attention to the illustrations which explains how such a suction patch works. 

Scroll down to the section Octopus-Inspired Design of the Suction Patch.

Beagles suffering from a disease were used and there are before and after photographs of the use of the suction patch. The differences are noticeable. 

Scroll down to the section headed First-In-Human Study on the Acceptance of the Formulation. 

SCOD, found throughout the paper is the acronym for suction cup orifice design.

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