Posted on Sep 17, 2014, 6 a.m.
The mouthpart that butterflies use for feeding (proboscis) may yield new devices for biomedical applications.
Clemson University (Georgia, USA) researchers are studying the mouthpart that butterflies use for feeding (proboscis), as a model to develop new fiber-based fluidic devices for biomedical applications. Konstantin G. Kornev and colleagues observe the proboscis is able to draw various kinds of liquids, regardless of viscosity; they aim to develop tiny probes that siphon liquid out of single cells for a wide range of medical tests and treatments, such as probes for gene therapy. The study authors write that: “physical construction of the proboscis … can be modified and enhanced by behavioral strategies.”
Chen-Chih Tsai, Daria Monaenkova, Charles E. Beard, Peter H. Adler, Konstantin G. Kornev. “Paradox of the drinking-straw model of the butterfly proboscis.” J Exp Biol 2014 217:2130-2138