Parasitic Worms & Skin Grafts
You wouldn’t think we’d end up talking about scientists using parasitic worms to do something incredible, but they actually have done this. The Pomphorhynchus laevis is a spiny-headed worm that likes to attach itself to the intestines of its host. When doing so, it inflates its cactus-like head inside tissue so it can latch onto it properly. We’ve found that this can be great for skin grafts, which are transplants used to treat wounds or burns. The worms work as an adhesive for the skin graft, as the worms give off a patch of tiny needles whose tips swell up when exposed to water. This, in turn, keeps the grafts in place and is 3x stronger than surgical stables!