STATES CHRONICLE – A team of researchers came up with a clever idea to close wounds, which no longer requires surgical staples or sutures. They developed a surgical glue, after taking inspiration from slugs and the mucus they secrete.
How does slug mucus function?
This is not the first time when researchers think of glue as an alternative for closing wounds, as many similar tools already exist. However, they are not that strong and pretty non-flexible, and the wound might open any time. Also, they don’t work really well with humid conditions.
This is why a group of researchers from Harvard University thought they must find a better alternative to these non-effective surgical glues. In their attempt, they looked at slugs. You probably already know they produce a slime which helps them glide. In addition, they also secrete a mucus with strong adhesive properties.
This mucus is not only incredibly sticky, being capable of creating strong bonds on any kind of surface. It works by using a complex mechanism, which spreads energy all over the mucus from its adhesion point. This means it is highly flexible.
The surgical glue might be a good replacement for sutures
To create the surgical glue, researchers used the same principle. In a study published in the journal Science, they showed how they managed to apply it to tissue, cartilage, organs, and pig skin. Also, the cells in the glue were not toxic for the human body.
For instance, they used it on a wound on a pig heart still covered in blood. The surgical glue managed to keep the wound closed even after it was constantly inflated and deflated, for several thousands of times. Researchers hope it might soon come to replace sutures or staples.
They manufactured the surgical glue in thin sheets, which can be cut in different sizes, depending on the wounds they have to deal with. Also, they created an injectable version as well, which can be used on deep wounds.
Image Source: Max Pixel