Animal goo inspires better glue | Science News

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Animal goo inspires better glue

Bio-inspired adhesives could make surgery smoother and safer

12:00pm, September 15, 2017
sea slug

SLIMED  When startled, the dusky slug (Arion subfuscus) produces a goopy defense slime that slows down predators. Scientists are studying the chemical structure of this goo to make better surgical adhesives.

Finding a great glue is a sticky task — especially if you want it to attach to something as slick as the inside of the human body. Even the strongest human-made adhesives don’t work well on wet surfaces like tissues and organs. For surgeons closing internal incisions, that’s more than an annoyance. The right glue could hold wounds together as effectively as stitches and staples with less damage to the surrounding soft tissue, enabling safer surgical procedures.

A solution might be found under wet leaves on a forest floor, recent research suggests. Jianyu Li of McGill University in Montreal and colleagues have created a surgical glue that mimics the chemical recipe of goopy slime that slugs exude when they’re startled. The adhesive stuck to a pig heart even when the surface was coated in blood, the team reported in the July 28 Science. Using the glue to plug a hole in the pig heart

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