Most people have experienced wrinkly finger syndrome - when fingertips turn paler and wrinkle after prolonged exposure to water.
There are two theories on how the wrinkles develop - the âshrinkâ model and the âswellâ model. Neither theory alone provides a full explanation.
A 2017 study in the Annals of biomedical engineering provides fresh insight. The research teamâs computational models suggest that both the âshrinkâ model and the âswellâ model are probably operating at the same time.
âEveryone has experienced wrinkly ïŹngers after an extended exposure to water. These wrinkles have been proposed as an evolutionary mechanism for a better grip of wet objects. However, besides experimental observations or mathematical theories, there is still not a clear agreement whether this is a result of the contraction of the hypodermis ( the âshrinkâ model), the eïŹect of epidermal swelling (the âswellâ model), or the coupling of both mechanisms.â
But more research is still needed to fully explain the phenomenon.
âWithout doubt, further experiments will help to close the debate about the origin of ïŹngertip wrinkling.â
See : Mechanics reveals the biological trigger in wrinkly fingers , P SĂĄez, AM ZĂ¶llner - Annals of biomedical engineering, 2017.
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