Researchers have discovered the possibility of creating a new class of adhesives that can repair internal tissues inspired by slug slime
Currently, internal wounds are close to impossible to repair. More than that, external repairs are limited to sutures and staples, which are far from being the best method. When it comes to the inside of our bodies, things are more complicated due to the fact that it is really wet, which makes glues worthless. Furthermore, the strongest adhesives are either toxic to cells or too stiff to be appropriate for moving organs.
However, researchers have discovered a way to create a new class of adhesives appropriate for all of these problems; the methods was inspired by slug slime.
Arion subfuscus has a defensive mucus that is ideal for medical adhesives. It’s sticky, tough and flexible. This finding made researchers at Harvard to model their adhesives after it. They tested it and discovered that it is non toxic and able to stick to pig skin, cartilage, beating and non-beating hearts, arteries and even livers.
More than that, the adhesive successfully adhered to the surfaces, held up to the movement and stretched really far. The most important feature is that it sticks in just a few minutes and can stick even if the surface is covered in blood.
On the other hand, there is one big challenge: getting the adhesive from the lab to the surgical room. However, this type of achievement is too big not to be put into practice when it comes to saving lives. The results were published in Science and are promising a new direction for biomedical adhesives.