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Waterproof, Light-Activated Glue Successfully Seals Holes in a Beating Heart
January 28, 2014  | 

Boston, MA - Researchers developed a new tissue adhesive that is biodegradable, biocompatible, and easily manipulated. It could allow for less invasive surgeries that don’t require sutures or staples.

During surgery, reconnecting tissues and attaching prosthetic materials can be a challenge. Suturing can be time-consuming, and staples can damage tissue. Surgical adhesives could solve these problems, but current options have limitations with strength, adhesion, and toxicity. Procedures performed on delicate tissues, such as in young infants, or on tissues that are moving, such as the heart, pose particular challenges. In addition, an ideal surgical adhesive would need to be water insoluble, as flowing blood would wash away a water-soluble compound.

Inspired by the footpad of insects and the thick, sticky secretions of slugs and sandcastle worms, whose fluids can create bonds underwater, a research team led by Dr. Jeffrey Karp of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dr. Pedro del Nido of Boston Children's Hospital set out to develop a similar gel-like material that could function as a stable, water-insoluble and elastic surgical glue. The work was funded in part by NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), and National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). The findings appeared online in Science Translational Medicine. Continue>

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