Stretchy bug parts used to make flexible medical technology

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

When people say their phone or computer has a bug in it, they usually mean that it’s glitchy or malfunctioning. However, when it comes to medical technology, having a bug in your tech can be a good thing. How so? Meet the wacky protein called “resilin,” which is often found in the body of bugs like crickets and dragonflies. Resilin is what keeps their bodies bouncy and stretchy, letting crickets jump high and dragonflies flap their beautiful wings. That’s because resilin can stretch up to three times its length over and over again, yet still remain flexible. If you do the same thing to rubber,  it loses its ability to stretch over time. Researchers from the American Chemistry Society are trying to take the stretchy insect protein and mix it with rubber to make it last just as long for improved joint and heart devices! Next time your heart skips a beat, it might be thanks to a cricket.

Featured image courtesy of Nils Rohwer.