Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Cat-tongues inspire new technology?

cat lick

Photo Credit: ogdan Sonjachnyj /

If you have ever been licked by a cat, you have experienced just how scratchy their tongues are. If you have not had the pleasure, it is much like being licked by a piece of Velcro. In fact, Mechanical Engineer Alexis Noel (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta) recently described the tiny claw-like structures on a cat’s tongue after observing a cat getting its tongue stuck on a blanket. Her research team decided to create 3D prints of a cat’s tongue. Some applications of this discovery could include soft robots designed to better grip objects, new designs for hairbrushes (have you ever seen a cat’s hair out of place? I don’t think so), or more efficient methods to clean debris out of wounds. Although I would prefer a soft cotton ball myself.



Categories: Feline, Nature's Solutions, Pets

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