Advert

Latest

First Dates Contestant With Terminal Cancer Finds Love After Viewer Reaches Out
published atin 31 minutes
Advert
Advert

Most Popular

Advert
News

New Medical Bio-Glue Inspired By Slug Mucus Could Save Lives

New Medical Bio-Glue Inspired By Slug Mucus Could Save Lives

Inspiration for new technologies can come from the unlikeliest of places and such is the case with a new medical super-material that is being hailed by experts as having the 'potential to improve healthcare and save lives'.

A new type of 'bio-glue' has been created, drawing inspiration from a defensive mucus secreted by slugs.

Credit: Sairon James/Creative Commons

Advert

While it's true that medical glues do already exist, current options are weak, toxic to cells, brittle and unable to dry on wet materials - a real problem, given the nature of biological tissues.

"Basically we can solve all those issues associated with previous adhesives," said Jianyu Li, first author of the research from Harvard University.

Scientists at the university turned to the 'Dusky Arion' slug for the key to create this new medical superglue, due to the sticky mucus it secretes when under threat from a predator.

"We engineered our material to take on the key features of slug mucus and the result is really positive," Dr Li said.

Advert

"I'm really amazed by this system. We have solved a big challenge and opened up big opportunities in the medical setting.

"The applications are pretty broad - the material is very tough, stretchy and compliant, which is very useful when you want to interface with a dynamic tissue like the heart or lungs."

Scientists also have ideas about the substance's potential uses for delivering drugs to specific parts of the body, or for sticking medical devices directly to organs.

More Like ThisMore Like This

1 of 6
Hasbro Is Releasing A New Range Of Nerf Guns Inspired By Halo
Entertainment

Hasbro Is Releasing A New Range Of Nerf Guns Inspired By Halo

slug
slug
Advert

Credit: PA

Dr Chris Holland, from the department of materials science and engineering at the University of Sheffield, told the BBC: "It's really cool, I must admit.

"It is clear it outperforms the alternatives on the market and oh my goodness, there is potentially absolutely huge demand.

"They are still at an early stage, but this kind of thing could be part of a surgeon's standard kit."

Advert

Harvard University's Wyss Institute, which has applied for a patent is also working on developing a biodegradable version of the bio-glue, which would disappear naturally as wounds healed.

Prof John Hunt, the research theme lead for medical technologies and advanced materials at Nottingham Trent University, explained to BBC News: "The need for new adhesives as glues or tapes is clear to all healthcare providers.

"This one has the potential to improve healthcare and save lives.

"This research is really exciting [but] the detail of the biocompatibility will need to go beyond what is presented in the paper to guide the long-term clinical efficacy, safety, and therefore the real medical applications."

Advert

Source: BBC News

Featured Image Credit: Flickr/richardghawley (Creative Commons)

Topics: Medicine

Michael Minay

Mike Minay is a trending journalist at LADbible. He’s co-ordinated interviews with some of the big names from the world of news and sport including ITV’s Robert Peston, Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling and darts champion Michael van Gerwen. His reporting days began on University radio in Birmingham, before moving to BBC Sport Online – creating content for large events such as Wimbledon and the FA Cup final. Mike still commentates on Football League matches at the weekend. A Manchester LAD at heart.