Dr. Jeffrey Karp of Brigham and Women’s Hospital says, “I truly believe evolution is the best problem-solver,” when discussing his medical biomimcry work in this video,
You can find the video and more in a Mar. 20, 2013 news item on Nanowerk which was originated by a Mar. 6, 2013 article by Alisa Zapp Machalek for the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NGMS) Inside Life Science webpage,
Velcro® was inspired by the grappling hooks of burrs. Supersonic jets have structures that work like the nostrils of peregrine falcons in a speed dive. Full-body swimsuits, now banned from the Olympics, lend athletes a smooth, streamlined shape like fish.
Nature’s designs are also giving researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health ideas for new technologies that could help wounds heal, make injections less painful and provide new materials for a variety of purposes.
… scientists [Jeffrey Karp and Robert Langer] discovered, to their surprise, that a [porcupine] quill’s puncture power comes from its barbed tip. Barbs seem to work like the points on a serrated knife, concentrating pressure onto small areas to aid penetration. Because they require significantly less force to puncture skin, barbed shafts don’t hurt as much when they enter flesh as their smooth-tipped counterparts do.
Zapp Machalek goes on to detail work inspired by gecko feet and spider webs, as well as, porcupine quills.