Slug Slime can be Used as a Surgical Glue

Slug Slime as Surgical Glue

Scientists have created a glue for surgical purposes, taking inspiration from the Arion fuscus – a small land slug species that leaves behind a whitish slimy trail.

The glue serves as an adhesive in medical application, as it is made up of a material possessing the ability to stick to slick wet surfaces. The material consists of two layer: a sticky layer that attaches to surfaces and a shock-absorbing layer that reduces strain. The sealant contains positively charged molecules that form stable bonds with biological tissues.

Researchers tested the adhesiveness of the material in a few surgical scenarios such as attaching the material to pig skin and liver. The material was successfully attached onto the beating heart of a pig, even when the surface was coated in blood. The glue sealed up a heart defect, preventing any loss of blood even after a million inflations and deflations. During an emergency surgery simulated by the researchers, the glue was effective enough to stem the bleeding liver of the rat. The material also proved to be less toxic than the commercially used tissue adhesive, reported the Science Magazine on July 28, 2017.

The invasive sutures and staples currently used in surgeries, would soon be replaced with this novel slug-inspired glue, considering its extreme flexibility and compatibility with body fluids. Scientists foresee the future of this glue by expecting its application in injections to fix cartilage discs, cushions between vertebrae, also predicting its use as Band-Aids to close wounds.

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