There are some obvious differences between squid and humans.The most basic being that humans are mammals and squid are cephalopods. We live on land and they in the ocean. However, a less known difference is that of the composition and restoration factors of our teeth. While human teeth do not heal themselves, squid’s do. According to Popular Science, squid’s teeth “are uniquely strong and can change phase from liquid to solid in the presence of water”. Pretty cool, right? What’s even cooler is how scientists have managed to replicate this process and what that could possibly mean for healthcare.
After studying copious amounts of squid ring teeth, from a variety of species, scientists found that healing proteins were minimal when it came to harvesting them from an actual host. To keep from endangering the species, scientists went to work deciphering the genetic code of these creatures. Soon they came back with a bacteria that could replicate the healing effects of squid teeth. Now they have a polymer which can heal itself by adding water to it! Additionally, after the break has been mended, it is just as strong as it was prior to the break.
What This Means for the Healthcare System
The idea of self-healing plastic, sounds a little out of this world, but it is no science fiction movie. This revolutionary invention could potentially save lives. The plastic may be able to be utilized in medical implants. Such plastic could be added to stints which support organs, along with internal monitors and drug delivery systems. This could cut down on lives lost or surgeries needed due to implants in need of repair. With the rise of man-made organs, perhaps this unique polymer can play a role in the maintenance of them as well.
Wound care may be another avenue of change due to this scientific advancement. Tampering with this technology could lead to an advancement in the way wounds heal themselves, potentially speeding up the process, making the healthcare system more efficient and diverse in its methods for treating wounds. It seems the possibilities may be endless with this one!
Healing Your Teeth
Unfortunately, human teeth do not have the self-healing components that squid’s do. Luckily, great cosmetic dentists exist to repair your teeth and give you an amazing smile. Dan Matthew DDS offers a wide range of tooth restoration services, such as dental bonding, dental crowns, porcelain veneers and dental implants to fix broken or missing teeth! You’ll receive quality care and your teeth will look extensively better than any sea-dwelling creature.