Insight & Analysis

Toadally awesome

Published: Sep 2021

Scientists think that the foam frogs used to produce their nests could offer ideas for alternative medical bandages in the future.

A frog

We have all seen bandages made of fabric, but have you ever considered a frog foam bandage? Scientists think that the foam frogs use to produce their nests could offer ideas for alternative medical bandages in the future.

The big benefits of the frog foam are that it is unlikely to irritate human skin and it allows drugs to be slowly released throughout the day, making it suitable for use in pharmaceuticals or even cosmetics in the future (frog foam lipstick, lovely!).

I can hear you all thinking, how is foam going to stand up for more than a few hours? Well, this frog foam is able to hold its shape for well over a week! Paul Hoskisson at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, explains that some frogs produce an incubator foam, used to protect their eggs and tadpoles from germs, dryness and the sun’s rays. This means it is robust and able to withstand ten days of harsh tropical conditions.

To find out if the foam could work in human medicine, researchers have tested human skin cells with the foam fluid and found it was not toxic to the skin. Next, dyes and antibiotics were added to the foam, to test its ability to release drugs over a period of time and it worked, with the foam releasing substances over periods of two to seven days. This is much slower than current medical foams on the market.

Toadally awesome don’t you think?

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