Monday, July 31, 2017

Miracles & Wonders: Learning from a slug

Here's the headline at The Verge: This slug slime-inspired glue can patch up bloody pig hearts and gooey rat livers.

I probably won't be doing either this afternoon, but there it is.

And it may well save your life down the road.
Called Tough Adhesives, these new glues could one day help close up wounds in the hard-to-reach, slimy depths of our bodies. That’s still a ways away, however. So far, they’ve mainly been tested on the blood-covered skin and beating heart of a pig.
Is it just me, or do the pigs get all the breaks?
The research is part of a bigger push to develop tissue adhesives that can safely and effectively seal up internal cuts and holes left by trauma, surgery, or birth defects. Right now, a patient’s options are pretty limited to sutures and staples, which can be challenging to use in hard-to-reach, internal places. Medical-grade super glue can only work on dry surfaces like skin. It also dries too stiffly, and is too toxic to use inside the body. The other tissue adhesives on the market just don’t stick well enough, experts say.
The researchers used their Tough Adhesives to successfully close up a hole in a beating pig heart (the pig was dead, and the heart was artificially made to beat with a machine). It also stopped a slimy rat liver from bleeding, and it stuck to pig skin and a real live pig heart that had been dribbled with blood. Says the study’s lead author, Harvard postdoctoral fellow Jianyu Li: “That’s the fun part.”
I'm with you on that, Jianyu.

No comments:

Post a Comment