SLUG-LIKE GLUE COULD BE FUTURE OF SUTURES
Inspired by slug slime, scientists have developed a flexible adhesive that sticks to wet surfaces. This stretchy glue can be attached to a beating, bleeding heart and could someday replace stitches in wound repair.
Other commercially available glues create strong but inflexible bonds or stretchy but weak connections. The slug-inspired glue cements tightly and it is held together by a stretchy matrix.
The sticking power of this adhesive is “probably on the order of 10 times better than what’s currently on the market,” said Phillip Messersmith, a professor of bioengineering at the University of California not involved with the study.
In addition to gluing things together, the adhesive could be used to deliver slow-release medications. Most intriguingly, said Nikolay Vasilyev of Boston Children’s Hospital, one of the study authors, the flexibility of the adhesive means it could be used in the hearts of children with cardiovascular disease.
The study was published Thursday in the journal Science.
Jianyu Li, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard and first author of the study, hopes the team might be able to design adhesives that dissolve over time as a complete alternative to stitches.
Inspired by slugs, scientists have developed a bio-adhesive that could be used instead of sutures. In experiments the material stuck strongly to skin, cartilage, arteries, livers and hearts, even when wet.