A surgical glue that shuts down bleeding wounds in 60 seconds

The ability of mussels to stubbornly bind themselves to underwater surfaces has intrigued scientists for years. If this ability could be recreated in the lab, it could lead to new adhesives for all kinds of applications. A team of Korean scientists has now developed a surgical glue inspired by these natural wonders that’s claimed to be cheaper, more reliable and incur less scarring than existing solutions.

In surgery, stitches and staples are very effective at binding body tissue together, but they can cause scarring and aren’t always appropriate when treating more sensitive flesh and organs. These drawbacks have motivated the development of adhesives that are strong enough to hold tissue together in wet environments, and do so without inciting adverse chemical reactions…

Scientists at Pohang University of Science and Technology have a…solution…inspired by intersections of amino acids called tyrosines that can be found in dragonfly wings and insect cuticles. These are created by exposure to visible light, a process that boosts both their strength and stickiness.

The team found that when they took mussel proteins chock-full of tyrosines and exposed them to blue visible light, the photochemical reaction saw them instantly pair up to form these tyrosine intersections. The result was a material with better structural stability and adhesive properties. They have dubbed it light-activated, mussel protein-based adhesive (LAMBA) and claim to have proven its superiority to existing surgical glues. In testing the glue in animals, the scientist say it was able to close bleeding wounds in less than 60 seconds and healed them without inflammation or scarring.

Sounds good to me. Can’t wait till there’s an over-the-counter version. Hopefully, affordable.

One thought on “A surgical glue that shuts down bleeding wounds in 60 seconds

  1. Don Herbert says:

    “Super Glue Built Planes, Nukes and Saved Soldiers’ Lives” http://warisboring.com/articles/super-glue-built-planes-nukes-and-saved-soldiers-lives/ scroll down to ‘Super glue in the field’. “In 1960, Tennessee Eastman teamed up with Ethicon — a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. For more than a decade the firms conducted animal and human studies into how the chemical could be used on the battlefield. With cyanoacrylates, surgeons could join veins, arteries and intestines together or seal a cut through the skin. Ophthalmologists could apply the adhesive to seal cuts to the eyeball, improving on very difficult conventional methods. As the research continued, the medical benefits of cyanoacrylate seemed endless. The adhesive used in these trials was not the same as the stuff glueing together America’s atomic weapons. Eastman and Ethicon’s research had already found that the cyanoacrylates in the industrial adhesives were toxic to animal tissues causing inflammation, irritation and increasing formaldehyde levels in the body. For medical purposes, the researchers used longer-chained cyanoacrylates which showed little to no toxicity in clinical trials. The longer chains of polymers solidified more quickly than the industrial adhesive resulting in the unforeseen medical application for super glue as a hemostatic agent {to stem uncontrolled bleeding}. …Cyanoacrylate continues to be part of military and civilian trauma kits worldwide as a tissue adhesive. The hemostatic properties that proved so useful in Vietnam, however, have recently been overshadowed by fast-acting, biologically-neutral solutions using chitosan (Celox, Hemcon) or kaolin (QuikClot).”

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