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Reference: Lenau, TA, Hesselberg, T, Drakidis, A et al., (2017). Mosquito inspired medical needles. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 10162, 1016208.Citable link to this page:


Mosquito inspired medical needles

Abstract: The stinging proboscis in mosquitos have diameters of only 40-100 μm which is much less than the thinnest medical needles and the mechanics of these natural stinging mechanisms have therefore attracted attention amongst developers of injection devises. The mosquito use a range of different strategies to lower the required penetration force hence allowing a thinner and less stiff proboscis structure. Earlier studies of the mosquito proboscis insertion strategies have shown how each of the single strategies reduces the required penetration force. The present paper gives an overview of the advanced set of mechanisms that allow the mosquito to penetrate human skin and also presents other biological mechanisms that facilitate skin penetration. Results from experiments in a skin mimic using biomimetic equivalents to the natural mechanisms are presented. This includes skin stretching, insertion speed and vibration. Combining slow insertion speed with skin tension and slow vibration reduces the penetration force with 40%.

Publication status:PublishedPeer Review status:Peer reviewedVersion:Accepted manuscriptNotes:This is the author accepted manuscript following peer review version of the article. The final version is available online from Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) at:

Bibliographic Details

Publisher: Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)

Publisher Website:

Host: Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineeringsee more from them

Publication Website:

Volume: 10162

Extent: 1016208

Issue Date: 2017-04-17

Article Number:1016208



Eissn: 1996-756X

Issn: 0277-786X

Isbn: 9781510608092

Uuid: uuid:184a5061-ce55-4ef0-9957-870d10f43a5d

Urn: uri:184a5061-ce55-4ef0-9957-870d10f43a5d

Pubs-id: pubs:702221 Item Description

Type: conference-proceeding;

Version: Accepted manuscriptKeywords: skin spine tissues blood polymers latex biomimetics animal model studies polyurethane mechanics


Autor: Lenau, TA - - - Hesselberg, T - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyOxford, Continuing Education, Continuing Education - EQ Ce



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