full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Ethan Mann: How sharks could inspire a new generation of medical devices

Unscramble the Blue Letters

The US Navy has always had this frustrating pobelrm with their fleet. It's something called "fouling." Now, for all you non-seafaring folk, fouling is when things like algae and beaacnlrs and other marine materials get stuck to the sdies of ships and submarines. Used to be able to prevent this fouling by coating ships and smuirnaebs with toxic aegnts, like heavy meltas, but these hvaey metals aren't as effective at keeping ships clean as they used to be. And we want clean ships because fnuiolg on these vlesses actually makes them less efficient in the water and can be easier for eeeinms to dtceet. This is not good. So several years ago, the US Office of Naval Research cealld on one of my colleagues, engineer scientist Dr. anohtny Brennan, to devise a solution to prevent fouling without the use of these heavy metals. See, Dr. Brennan was already investigating how things like surface roughness can prevent the attachment of organisms like algae. But Dr. Brennan was struggling. All of the engineered surfaces he came up with agale eltuvnaley overcame. And then Brennan found himself at a conference in Hawaii, of all places, and nitcoed something rather intriguing. Take a look at these three animals: a manatee, a whale and a shark. What do you ncoite? Well, right. So the whale and the manatee are filthy, but the sarhk is squeaky clean. This is a property unique to all sharks. The next time you watch Shark Week, you'll notice each and every shark you see is pristine. (Laughter) Why? banenrn wanted to find out. So with the help of some brave graduate students, they set out to find a shark. (Laughter) They found one in the shallow weatr and carefully took a mold of its skin using a dental iissormpen material. Don't worry. The shark wasn't harmed in the process, although I'm sure he didn't appreciate it. (Laughter) So the snteutds took the mold back to the lab and put it under a microscope, and this is what it looks like. The sharkskin is comprised of little denticles, and they ovelrap to create a diamond-shape repeating pattern on the sharkskin. Upon further iavsgitnteion, Brennan and his team noticed that the texture on these denticles is actually what's rpnolbissee for keeping sharks clean. I'm a microbiologist and infectious disease expert, and I find this fascinating. I've spent my cearer trying to keep surfaces clean, especially the surfaces of medical devices. In hospitals this is a massive problem. See, what happens is bacteria who are really normally good find themselves in places they shouldn't be as a result of some medical procedure. Sometime during or after surgery, bacteria latch onto the surface of a medical device, stay there, and cause a serious infection; and this makes it ioblsimpse for the body to heal. Take a look at these surgical wires used to close a patient's sternum following open-heart surgery. Notice the tiny clusters of bctireaa on the surface? This patient didn't heal for mhnots until the wires were removed, and replaced with clean ones. You know, it used to be we just used antibiotics to taert these types of infections. Antibiotics were an amazing drug, for a while. But eventually, bacteria were exposed to antibiotics so frequently they were forced to adapt. And survival is the key driver of evolution, and that's what we're talking about here: bacterial evolution. Perhaps you've heard about this in the news. It's referred to as "Antimicrobial Resistance." The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call antimicrobial resistance one of the greestat public health challenges of our time. Illnesses that were once easily treatable are now untreatable. In the US alone every year, more than two million people will get an antibiotic resistant infection, and over 23,000 people will die as a result of that ificnteon. The pharmaceutical industry is rnusihg to devolep more and more and more antimicrobials, desperately trying to ocputae antimicrobial resistance. But bacteria and germs, they evolve so much more qculiky than we could innovate ways to kill them. It's clear the antimicrobial era is coming to an end, so we have to think about this in a whole new way. What if instead of trying to kill bacteria after they cause infections, we simply make it harder for bacteria to sctik to the surfaces of medical devices in the first place? In other words, we prevent these infections from occurring altogether. That's what bnirgs me back to what we've learned from sharks. It's the texture of sharkskin that makes them resistant to fouling. So what if we change the texture of medical devices to make them resistant to bacteria causing so many problems? Dr. Brennan knew he had a mojar medical breakthrough on his hands. He called up some trusted friends right here in dnever Colorado, and they started a company, and they called it Sharklet Technologies. In 2013, I joined the team, and together we used enngieeerd surfaces mimicking the skin of sharks to prevent bacteria and other medical complications. Our first commercial device is a uaicooglrl catheter, which dotcors began using for patients just last year. (Applause) Take a look at these example images. The surface on the left is a smooth surface, and the one on the right is a sharkskin-like texture. Notice how much bacteria's on the smooth surface compared to the sharkskin-like surface? This is because the sharkskin-like texture creates an itlshabipnoe surface for bacterial attachment and growth. It works on sharks, and it works here too because the texture takes advantage of principles of surface energy. Now, surface energy is really a description of a detailed property of a surface. It can include things like water interaction or material stiffness. The roughened sharkskin-like texture creates a surface with greater surface energy. You know, we interact with srfcaue energy changes all the time. We often just don't notice it. For example, we like when rain beads up and runs off our car, right? Well, this happens best with a nice coat of wax. Wax is a material with greater surface energy characteristics. Now, we can't coat medical devices in wax, but we can cgnahe their surface turexte. And this approach works on all types of medical devices, from catheters to pacemakers, and it's eiecfftve against all types of bacteria and grems. As it turns out, we can actually do more than just bacteria-proof madciel devices. We can prevent other medical complications through understanding the power of surface energy, things like frequent clogging, ecvisxsee blood clotting or poor healing interactions. The next generation of medical device surfaces inspired by the skin of skrhas will actually expand how medical devices are made. Really the core issue is that we caerte all teyps of sophisticated medical deveics, things to pump fluid into our blood, keep our heart beating on pace, or even stimulate brain activity. But bad things happen when these devices don't interact well with our bodies' natural mechanisms. We've actually discovered that we can improve how medical devices are tolerated through subtly tuning the surface energy characteristics, like for example, we can prevnet a lot of the excessive clotting that's oiruncrcg here on the smooth surface, ceopramd to the sharkskin-like texture. This means that we can actually match the required surface energy with the medical use to prevent complications, all with the pwoer of sharks. Ultimately, as we continue to engineer smart saefucrs, we'll require fewer antimicrobials, fewer chemicals and fewer harsh additives, and this will make life-saving medical technology safer for all of us to use. This is innovation in its purest form, to be sure. But it's also a good reminder of just how important it is to observe the subtle cues in the raw merysty of the world around us. Thank you. (Applause)

Open Cloze

The US Navy has always had this frustrating _______ with their fleet. It's something called "fouling." Now, for all you non-seafaring folk, fouling is when things like algae and _________ and other marine materials get stuck to the _____ of ships and submarines. Used to be able to prevent this fouling by coating ships and __________ with toxic ______, like heavy ______, but these _____ metals aren't as effective at keeping ships clean as they used to be. And we want clean ships because _______ on these _______ actually makes them less efficient in the water and can be easier for _______ to ______. This is not good. So several years ago, the US Office of Naval Research ______ on one of my colleagues, engineer scientist Dr. _______ Brennan, to devise a solution to prevent fouling without the use of these heavy metals. See, Dr. Brennan was already investigating how things like surface roughness can prevent the attachment of organisms like algae. But Dr. Brennan was struggling. All of the engineered surfaces he came up with _____ __________ overcame. And then Brennan found himself at a conference in Hawaii, of all places, and _______ something rather intriguing. Take a look at these three animals: a manatee, a whale and a shark. What do you ______? Well, right. So the whale and the manatee are filthy, but the _____ is squeaky clean. This is a property unique to all sharks. The next time you watch Shark Week, you'll notice each and every shark you see is pristine. (Laughter) Why? _______ wanted to find out. So with the help of some brave graduate students, they set out to find a shark. (Laughter) They found one in the shallow _____ and carefully took a mold of its skin using a dental __________ material. Don't worry. The shark wasn't harmed in the process, although I'm sure he didn't appreciate it. (Laughter) So the ________ took the mold back to the lab and put it under a microscope, and this is what it looks like. The sharkskin is comprised of little denticles, and they _______ to create a diamond-shape repeating pattern on the sharkskin. Upon further _____________, Brennan and his team noticed that the texture on these denticles is actually what's ___________ for keeping sharks clean. I'm a microbiologist and infectious disease expert, and I find this fascinating. I've spent my ______ trying to keep surfaces clean, especially the surfaces of medical devices. In hospitals this is a massive problem. See, what happens is bacteria who are really normally good find themselves in places they shouldn't be as a result of some medical procedure. Sometime during or after surgery, bacteria latch onto the surface of a medical device, stay there, and cause a serious infection; and this makes it __________ for the body to heal. Take a look at these surgical wires used to close a patient's sternum following open-heart surgery. Notice the tiny clusters of ________ on the surface? This patient didn't heal for ______ until the wires were removed, and replaced with clean ones. You know, it used to be we just used antibiotics to _____ these types of infections. Antibiotics were an amazing drug, for a while. But eventually, bacteria were exposed to antibiotics so frequently they were forced to adapt. And survival is the key driver of evolution, and that's what we're talking about here: bacterial evolution. Perhaps you've heard about this in the news. It's referred to as "Antimicrobial Resistance." The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call antimicrobial resistance one of the ________ public health challenges of our time. Illnesses that were once easily treatable are now untreatable. In the US alone every year, more than two million people will get an antibiotic resistant infection, and over 23,000 people will die as a result of that _________. The pharmaceutical industry is _______ to _______ more and more and more antimicrobials, desperately trying to _______ antimicrobial resistance. But bacteria and germs, they evolve so much more _______ than we could innovate ways to kill them. It's clear the antimicrobial era is coming to an end, so we have to think about this in a whole new way. What if instead of trying to kill bacteria after they cause infections, we simply make it harder for bacteria to _____ to the surfaces of medical devices in the first place? In other words, we prevent these infections from occurring altogether. That's what ______ me back to what we've learned from sharks. It's the texture of sharkskin that makes them resistant to fouling. So what if we change the texture of medical devices to make them resistant to bacteria causing so many problems? Dr. Brennan knew he had a _____ medical breakthrough on his hands. He called up some trusted friends right here in ______ Colorado, and they started a company, and they called it Sharklet Technologies. In 2013, I joined the team, and together we used __________ surfaces mimicking the skin of sharks to prevent bacteria and other medical complications. Our first commercial device is a __________ catheter, which _______ began using for patients just last year. (Applause) Take a look at these example images. The surface on the left is a smooth surface, and the one on the right is a sharkskin-like texture. Notice how much bacteria's on the smooth surface compared to the sharkskin-like surface? This is because the sharkskin-like texture creates an ____________ surface for bacterial attachment and growth. It works on sharks, and it works here too because the texture takes advantage of principles of surface energy. Now, surface energy is really a description of a detailed property of a surface. It can include things like water interaction or material stiffness. The roughened sharkskin-like texture creates a surface with greater surface energy. You know, we interact with _______ energy changes all the time. We often just don't notice it. For example, we like when rain beads up and runs off our car, right? Well, this happens best with a nice coat of wax. Wax is a material with greater surface energy characteristics. Now, we can't coat medical devices in wax, but we can ______ their surface _______. And this approach works on all types of medical devices, from catheters to pacemakers, and it's _________ against all types of bacteria and _____. As it turns out, we can actually do more than just bacteria-proof _______ devices. We can prevent other medical complications through understanding the power of surface energy, things like frequent clogging, _________ blood clotting or poor healing interactions. The next generation of medical device surfaces inspired by the skin of ______ will actually expand how medical devices are made. Really the core issue is that we ______ all _____ of sophisticated medical _______, things to pump fluid into our blood, keep our heart beating on pace, or even stimulate brain activity. But bad things happen when these devices don't interact well with our bodies' natural mechanisms. We've actually discovered that we can improve how medical devices are tolerated through subtly tuning the surface energy characteristics, like for example, we can _______ a lot of the excessive clotting that's _________ here on the smooth surface, ________ to the sharkskin-like texture. This means that we can actually match the required surface energy with the medical use to prevent complications, all with the _____ of sharks. Ultimately, as we continue to engineer smart ________, we'll require fewer antimicrobials, fewer chemicals and fewer harsh additives, and this will make life-saving medical technology safer for all of us to use. This is innovation in its purest form, to be sure. But it's also a good reminder of just how important it is to observe the subtle cues in the raw _______ of the world around us. Thank you. (Applause)

Solution

  1. bacteria
  2. develop
  3. change
  4. sharks
  5. submarines
  6. algae
  7. engineered
  8. medical
  9. doctors
  10. excessive
  11. surface
  12. water
  13. shark
  14. heavy
  15. texture
  16. major
  17. compared
  18. stick
  19. greatest
  20. quickly
  21. mystery
  22. noticed
  23. agents
  24. eventually
  25. months
  26. barnacles
  27. infection
  28. power
  29. types
  30. metals
  31. notice
  32. investigation
  33. occurring
  34. brings
  35. urological
  36. problem
  37. prevent
  38. sides
  39. effective
  40. rushing
  41. inhospitable
  42. called
  43. overlap
  44. enemies
  45. vessels
  46. denver
  47. germs
  48. impression
  49. treat
  50. anthony
  51. brennan
  52. surfaces
  53. students
  54. outpace
  55. detect
  56. fouling
  57. career
  58. devices
  59. impossible
  60. create
  61. responsible

Original Text

The US Navy has always had this frustrating problem with their fleet. It's something called "fouling." Now, for all you non-seafaring folk, fouling is when things like algae and barnacles and other marine materials get stuck to the sides of ships and submarines. Used to be able to prevent this fouling by coating ships and submarines with toxic agents, like heavy metals, but these heavy metals aren't as effective at keeping ships clean as they used to be. And we want clean ships because fouling on these vessels actually makes them less efficient in the water and can be easier for enemies to detect. This is not good. So several years ago, the US Office of Naval Research called on one of my colleagues, engineer scientist Dr. Anthony Brennan, to devise a solution to prevent fouling without the use of these heavy metals. See, Dr. Brennan was already investigating how things like surface roughness can prevent the attachment of organisms like algae. But Dr. Brennan was struggling. All of the engineered surfaces he came up with algae eventually overcame. And then Brennan found himself at a conference in Hawaii, of all places, and noticed something rather intriguing. Take a look at these three animals: a manatee, a whale and a shark. What do you notice? Well, right. So the whale and the manatee are filthy, but the shark is squeaky clean. This is a property unique to all sharks. The next time you watch Shark Week, you'll notice each and every shark you see is pristine. (Laughter) Why? Brennan wanted to find out. So with the help of some brave graduate students, they set out to find a shark. (Laughter) They found one in the shallow water and carefully took a mold of its skin using a dental impression material. Don't worry. The shark wasn't harmed in the process, although I'm sure he didn't appreciate it. (Laughter) So the students took the mold back to the lab and put it under a microscope, and this is what it looks like. The sharkskin is comprised of little denticles, and they overlap to create a diamond-shape repeating pattern on the sharkskin. Upon further investigation, Brennan and his team noticed that the texture on these denticles is actually what's responsible for keeping sharks clean. I'm a microbiologist and infectious disease expert, and I find this fascinating. I've spent my career trying to keep surfaces clean, especially the surfaces of medical devices. In hospitals this is a massive problem. See, what happens is bacteria who are really normally good find themselves in places they shouldn't be as a result of some medical procedure. Sometime during or after surgery, bacteria latch onto the surface of a medical device, stay there, and cause a serious infection; and this makes it impossible for the body to heal. Take a look at these surgical wires used to close a patient's sternum following open-heart surgery. Notice the tiny clusters of bacteria on the surface? This patient didn't heal for months until the wires were removed, and replaced with clean ones. You know, it used to be we just used antibiotics to treat these types of infections. Antibiotics were an amazing drug, for a while. But eventually, bacteria were exposed to antibiotics so frequently they were forced to adapt. And survival is the key driver of evolution, and that's what we're talking about here: bacterial evolution. Perhaps you've heard about this in the news. It's referred to as "Antimicrobial Resistance." The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call antimicrobial resistance one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. Illnesses that were once easily treatable are now untreatable. In the US alone every year, more than two million people will get an antibiotic resistant infection, and over 23,000 people will die as a result of that infection. The pharmaceutical industry is rushing to develop more and more and more antimicrobials, desperately trying to outpace antimicrobial resistance. But bacteria and germs, they evolve so much more quickly than we could innovate ways to kill them. It's clear the antimicrobial era is coming to an end, so we have to think about this in a whole new way. What if instead of trying to kill bacteria after they cause infections, we simply make it harder for bacteria to stick to the surfaces of medical devices in the first place? In other words, we prevent these infections from occurring altogether. That's what brings me back to what we've learned from sharks. It's the texture of sharkskin that makes them resistant to fouling. So what if we change the texture of medical devices to make them resistant to bacteria causing so many problems? Dr. Brennan knew he had a major medical breakthrough on his hands. He called up some trusted friends right here in Denver Colorado, and they started a company, and they called it Sharklet Technologies. In 2013, I joined the team, and together we used engineered surfaces mimicking the skin of sharks to prevent bacteria and other medical complications. Our first commercial device is a urological catheter, which doctors began using for patients just last year. (Applause) Take a look at these example images. The surface on the left is a smooth surface, and the one on the right is a sharkskin-like texture. Notice how much bacteria's on the smooth surface compared to the sharkskin-like surface? This is because the sharkskin-like texture creates an inhospitable surface for bacterial attachment and growth. It works on sharks, and it works here too because the texture takes advantage of principles of surface energy. Now, surface energy is really a description of a detailed property of a surface. It can include things like water interaction or material stiffness. The roughened sharkskin-like texture creates a surface with greater surface energy. You know, we interact with surface energy changes all the time. We often just don't notice it. For example, we like when rain beads up and runs off our car, right? Well, this happens best with a nice coat of wax. Wax is a material with greater surface energy characteristics. Now, we can't coat medical devices in wax, but we can change their surface texture. And this approach works on all types of medical devices, from catheters to pacemakers, and it's effective against all types of bacteria and germs. As it turns out, we can actually do more than just bacteria-proof medical devices. We can prevent other medical complications through understanding the power of surface energy, things like frequent clogging, excessive blood clotting or poor healing interactions. The next generation of medical device surfaces inspired by the skin of sharks will actually expand how medical devices are made. Really the core issue is that we create all types of sophisticated medical devices, things to pump fluid into our blood, keep our heart beating on pace, or even stimulate brain activity. But bad things happen when these devices don't interact well with our bodies' natural mechanisms. We've actually discovered that we can improve how medical devices are tolerated through subtly tuning the surface energy characteristics, like for example, we can prevent a lot of the excessive clotting that's occurring here on the smooth surface, compared to the sharkskin-like texture. This means that we can actually match the required surface energy with the medical use to prevent complications, all with the power of sharks. Ultimately, as we continue to engineer smart surfaces, we'll require fewer antimicrobials, fewer chemicals and fewer harsh additives, and this will make life-saving medical technology safer for all of us to use. This is innovation in its purest form, to be sure. But it's also a good reminder of just how important it is to observe the subtle cues in the raw mystery of the world around us. Thank you. (Applause)

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
medical devices 7
surface energy 7
heavy metals 2
engineered surfaces 2
antimicrobial resistance 2
medical complications 2
texture creates 2
greater surface 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
greater surface energy 2

Important Words

  1. activity
  2. adapt
  3. additives
  4. advantage
  5. agents
  6. algae
  7. altogether
  8. amazing
  9. anthony
  10. antibiotic
  11. antibiotics
  12. antimicrobial
  13. antimicrobials
  14. applause
  15. approach
  16. attachment
  17. bacteria
  18. bacterial
  19. bad
  20. barnacles
  21. beads
  22. beating
  23. began
  24. blood
  25. body
  26. brain
  27. brave
  28. breakthrough
  29. brennan
  30. brings
  31. call
  32. called
  33. car
  34. career
  35. carefully
  36. catheter
  37. catheters
  38. causing
  39. centers
  40. challenges
  41. change
  42. characteristics
  43. chemicals
  44. clean
  45. clear
  46. clogging
  47. close
  48. clotting
  49. clusters
  50. coat
  51. coating
  52. colleagues
  53. colorado
  54. coming
  55. commercial
  56. company
  57. compared
  58. complications
  59. comprised
  60. conference
  61. continue
  62. control
  63. core
  64. create
  65. creates
  66. cues
  67. dental
  68. denticles
  69. denver
  70. description
  71. desperately
  72. detailed
  73. detect
  74. develop
  75. device
  76. devices
  77. devise
  78. die
  79. discovered
  80. disease
  81. doctors
  82. dr
  83. driver
  84. drug
  85. easier
  86. easily
  87. effective
  88. efficient
  89. enemies
  90. energy
  91. engineer
  92. engineered
  93. era
  94. eventually
  95. evolution
  96. evolve
  97. excessive
  98. expand
  99. expert
  100. exposed
  101. fascinating
  102. filthy
  103. find
  104. fleet
  105. fluid
  106. folk
  107. forced
  108. form
  109. fouling
  110. frequent
  111. frequently
  112. friends
  113. frustrating
  114. generation
  115. germs
  116. good
  117. graduate
  118. greater
  119. greatest
  120. growth
  121. hands
  122. happen
  123. harder
  124. harmed
  125. harsh
  126. hawaii
  127. heal
  128. healing
  129. health
  130. heard
  131. heart
  132. heavy
  133. hospitals
  134. illnesses
  135. images
  136. important
  137. impossible
  138. impression
  139. improve
  140. include
  141. industry
  142. infection
  143. infections
  144. infectious
  145. inhospitable
  146. innovate
  147. innovation
  148. inspired
  149. interact
  150. interaction
  151. interactions
  152. intriguing
  153. investigating
  154. investigation
  155. issue
  156. joined
  157. keeping
  158. key
  159. kill
  160. knew
  161. lab
  162. latch
  163. laughter
  164. learned
  165. left
  166. lot
  167. major
  168. manatee
  169. marine
  170. massive
  171. match
  172. material
  173. materials
  174. means
  175. mechanisms
  176. medical
  177. metals
  178. microbiologist
  179. microscope
  180. million
  181. mimicking
  182. mold
  183. months
  184. mystery
  185. natural
  186. naval
  187. navy
  188. news
  189. nice
  190. notice
  191. noticed
  192. observe
  193. occurring
  194. office
  195. organisms
  196. outpace
  197. overcame
  198. overlap
  199. pace
  200. pacemakers
  201. patient
  202. patients
  203. pattern
  204. people
  205. pharmaceutical
  206. place
  207. places
  208. poor
  209. power
  210. prevent
  211. prevention
  212. principles
  213. pristine
  214. problem
  215. problems
  216. procedure
  217. process
  218. property
  219. public
  220. pump
  221. purest
  222. put
  223. quickly
  224. rain
  225. raw
  226. referred
  227. reminder
  228. removed
  229. repeating
  230. replaced
  231. require
  232. required
  233. research
  234. resistance
  235. resistant
  236. responsible
  237. result
  238. roughened
  239. roughness
  240. runs
  241. rushing
  242. safer
  243. scientist
  244. set
  245. shallow
  246. shark
  247. sharklet
  248. sharks
  249. sharkskin
  250. ships
  251. sides
  252. simply
  253. skin
  254. smart
  255. smooth
  256. solution
  257. sophisticated
  258. spent
  259. squeaky
  260. started
  261. stay
  262. sternum
  263. stick
  264. stiffness
  265. stimulate
  266. struggling
  267. stuck
  268. students
  269. submarines
  270. subtle
  271. subtly
  272. surface
  273. surfaces
  274. surgery
  275. surgical
  276. survival
  277. takes
  278. talking
  279. team
  280. technologies
  281. technology
  282. texture
  283. time
  284. tiny
  285. tolerated
  286. toxic
  287. treat
  288. treatable
  289. trusted
  290. tuning
  291. turns
  292. types
  293. ultimately
  294. understanding
  295. unique
  296. untreatable
  297. urological
  298. vessels
  299. wanted
  300. watch
  301. water
  302. wax
  303. ways
  304. week
  305. whale
  306. wires
  307. words
  308. works
  309. world
  310. worry
  311. year
  312. years