Subdermal Armor



  • @Cassox   I realy like this titanium-bone mesh idea. I had been considering whether a Calstrux implant would be a justifiable risk for similar effect. If something like this was done, wouldn't it also give a better framework for running permanent sub-dermal wiring, as you could just let bone grow around the wiring, to hold it in place. .  
  • Well, in terms of the surgery involved... I have no idea. Other than major major trauma events where surgeons essentially try to put someone back together, I can't think of a surgery right now that this could be compared to.

    Keep in mind, if one really did implant something like plates, or some kind of mesh, and then get shot... your probably going to die. The initial surgery would entail general anesthesia, risk of infection, risk of complications such as excessive blood loss.
    Getting shot would cause the shattering of a plate... so you've successfully added more detrius and shrapnel to your wound. Furthermore, you added a layer of complexity and... a layer of titanium... for the surgeon or medic to deal with. The mere unfamiliarity with this layer would increase the amount of time needed to deal with the wound.

    I don't think implants will ever really be an appropriate answer within our lifetimes. One can strengthen bones to pretty incredible levels with supplementation and impact training. Iron palm practitioners for example can do some pretty incredible things. No stop bullets of course, but having a lateral forearm than can take a hit from a baseball bat without breaking is pretty cool.

  • Armor in the animal kingdom... sure, there are example of large hulking creatures such as Rhinos which have very thick skin, and thick sections of bone. We can still shoot them. There are no animals I know of that can shrug off 7.62X39.

    Look at other "armors" though. Birds... chickens even. Feathers function like modern tank armor in that it falls out easily. A predator can take a big bite and end up with nothing but feathers, much like how an anti-tank missile takes off the outer plating of a St. Chamond tank. This would be analagous to... external body armor.
  • edited August 2013
    You're right of course, in that very little can protect against a firearm, but having a few bone plates in the stomach could protect against shrapnel or a knife.  
    As a continuation of zombiegristle's thought exercise, couldn't a carefully designed titanium-bone mesh be useful for protecting the throat from being crushed or cut?  Perhaps a few interlocking plates, though I expect you'd lose some mobility in the neck.  

    And even modern ballistic vests don't work all the time, I lost a friend during my deployment to Iraq because the 7.62x54 round hit his plate at just the right angle.
  • I'm sure plating could be done this way... I'm just thinking there has to be something better. Perhaps threads in the skin or something. Furthermore, since this is a thought exercise... does the end result need to be pretty? How about some methods of causing expression of Lucidem in the skin? This would result in your neck skin having the consistency of the skin on the sole of the foot of a person who walks around bare foot. When I was younger, I went around bare foot always and I could step on broken glass without issue.
  • As far as pretty, that's entirely relative. If there is a way to induce artificially Luciderm, it could probably be done in a pattern, but I don't see it stopping a knife.  But then again, any protection is better than none, and it might protect fairly well against small damage, like being struck in the throat in in a fistfight or a car accident.  

    Really, as long as it gave a significant increase in protection, I don't think the people who'd be interested in it would much care how it looks.
  • I'd like to have something like this bastard on my shoulders, chest, and back. Mostly for looks, not for stopping bullets. I wonder how different this would be from producing lucidem?

  • I believe you can increase skin thickness in a way similar to increasing lucidum through a series of microdermabrasions. it would, however, without regular physical stressing, just like you lose a callous if you stop working with your hands.

    @DirectorX You're looking at a tailored cancer or HPV-2 to get close to the armour that little guys has. OR, a topical application of a serious amount of epidermal growth factor could possible trigger something that heads that direction. you're biggest issue would be controlling it once it gets started....
  • @glims "your biggest issue would be controlling it..."

    And this is where we prove everybody hating on grinding right xD
  • The Fly....cept it's an armadillo thing O.o
  • I've heard that the military is working a project that uses magnetorheological fluid to stop bullets. This fluid's effective viscosity greatly increases in the presence of a magnetic field. While current technology does not allow this to stop bullets, it still has useful applications in the field of armor. Would it be possible to either contain this in a bio-proof envelope of some sort, or perhaps to float it in a layer under the skin?
  • @TheGreyKnight, if you could provide some links I'd appreciate it. I'm guessing that the fluid is toxic, however, and sealing toxic fluids in a container inside your body is just asking for future blood poisoning.
  • @Saal Yeah. I figured that it would be toxic. 

    Here's an abstract from some of the researchers. This is not related to the military's work.

    Here's some of the military stuff.

  • I can't remember, are those plates epidermis, or keratin? Either way it'd be a lot of effort.  It might be easier to do smaller scales, grown from modified fingernails, perhaps. But that'd be some rather technical, and potentially expensive, genetic work.
  • the outer layer of the epidermis is structurally keratin.

    for the pangolin, the layer is keratin, we would consider it a type of leather.

    one could probably trigger that type of robustness in epidermal cells but you would sacrifice a grip of mobilty and it would be broadly applied, meaning you would get hard in places you don't want to (yeah, i went there)

    i figure the best way to implement this type of mod is through surgery. you grow the hardened epidermis on a medium, then, attempt to graft them...

    personally, i'm still leaning towards fiber implants.

  • just wait for the newspaper to pick up a bunch of people with armor plate mutations. having some so visible armor ... that's pretty much asking for bullets to test it with (depending on the country you live in).
  • Has anyone thought about how to deal with armoring the joints? Seems like tendons would be a bit troublesome to work around without damaging or restricting movement. And along the lines of armored joints, any thoughts on reinforcing the knuckles of your hand?
  • @TheGreyKnight those are two different substances. the first is useless as armor (bullets are lead and only occasionally jacketed in magnetic materials). The second is a shear liquid that has some very interesting applications outside the body, not so much internally. sorry :\

    @ThomasEgi, my thoughts exactly :P
  • I think we can confidently write off implantable ballistic armor, this sort of stuff could be explained away as built in motocross armor or some such.  And it wouldn't be too much more eye catching than Enigma, I don't think.
  • I didn't read the whole thread, but I found this stab proof coating that is kind of cool. It seems like it would be handy to have around other implants just to protect against punctures.
  • Hmm... What if we genetically engineered a symbiotic creature that created a hexagonal network of "scales" on the surface of the skin, with each scale being roughly 1-2 square inches in surface area. You could also engineer it to only cover certain surfaces. And make it do a lot of other things too. For example, if we made it a photosynthetic organism, in exchange for the carbon dioxide from our body, we'd have nearly unlimited oxygen. Or respond to certain stimuli by releasing adrenaline or Nootropic drugs. 
  • Well cool sure! But if we are going to go that far out on a theoretical limb we might as well be talking about nano bot clothing, or gravity manipulation armor or something. I mean, ok premise in a video game or movie... but I don't think we are anywhere near being able to do this now. Someday perhaps.
  • edited August 2013
    @glims, do you think there's a way to chemically stimulate lucidum development? Assuming it was thick enough, even an occasional shot wouldn't be a problem. 
  • @Cassox It's not that theoretical or far-fetched. We've already started engineering bacteria that smell like strawberries. How hard is it to take something like Lichen, which is a symbiotic organism, composed of a fungus and an algae, and engineer each component to our liking? Fungi utilize Chitin in their cellular structures for strength, and we could probably exploit the genes responsible for the creation of chitin to create something a bit harder, say, Turtle shell. 
  • The primary issue, in my opinion, is preventing the body from rejecting the creature.
  • edited August 2013
    @TheGreyKnight, do you think you could engineer such a thing in a basement? I think the monetary cost makes it an non-viable solution for the here & now. All the bone plates would require is a design to maximize durability and protection, the titanium & ossification putty(expensive in it's own right), and an unscrupulous surgeon (which shouldn't be that hard to find).
  • I agree. It would be extremely expensive. Not something you could do without at least a decade of work, just to work out the problems of implanting a living organism inside of you. But still, not terribly futuristic. 
  • @countseven the aforementioned use of epidermal growth factor would do the trick. usually our body is having a growth response to physical force but hormonal triggers would work. however, as with dermabrasion, without constant upkeep, your body would go back to the baseline.

    @TheGreyKnight  In response to "How hard is it to..."  The short answer: really fraking hard. We are terribly incompetent with our genetic engineering skills. On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is sticking dogs in a kennel and having them boink, and 10 being cooking up our custom tailored symbioses, humans are at about a 1.5...  I'm not saying give up hope. But the plug and play concept that get's bounced around here, it's not happening any time soon for biology. As i was saying in a private thread, 

    if you want a car to use less gas you can't just not put gas in it. it doesn't run. if you want the car to use electricity instead of gas, you don't just drop batteries into your gas tank. (...) you really need to mod the entire system.

    What you are talking about would take a complete reworking of the metabolic system of not only a human being but all of the symbiotic organisms that we already have living with us that allow us to digest food, etc.  Even something as simple as muscle grafts that we read about in novels would require an altered circulatory system to adjust for the O2 that you would need to circulate, altered lungs for uptake and waste removal, and a new heart to power the system.
  • Agreed. Like I said to a friend earlier, I'm not much of a fan of biologically based implants. I prefer metal. It's cold, hard, and predictable.

    Just out of curiosity, Is Carbon Fiber a bioproof material?
  • @TheGreyKnight in regards to carbon fiber fouling resistance: not bioproof

    imo, the problem with metal implants are all the things we managed to cover in this thread. rejection, fouling, restriction of growth and nutrients to the surrounding tissues.  either way you cut it tho, our tool kits for both methods are depressingly primitive.
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