How does a jellyfish pack such a tiny sting?

August 18, 2022

Research from the lab of Stowers Investigator Matt Gibson, PhD was recently featured in an article in the September 2022 issue of Scientific American.

Below is an excerpt from the article.

Jellyfish, sea anemones and corals, a group called cnidarians, sting with tiny, pressurized capsules that fire poisonous darts at explosive speeds. Researchers have been unsure of the exact mechanics of this blisteringly fast process, which occurs using special cell organelles called nematocysts. Now a team led by Matt Gibson and Ahmet Karabulut of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Mo., has used cutting-edge imaging technology to study nematocyst firing in very fine detail. Understanding the biophysics of what they call “one of nature's most exquisite biological micromachines” could inspire the design of minuscule drug-delivery devices, the researchers say.

Read the full article here.