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Barnacle-inspired bioglue stops bleeding in as little as 15 seconds

Date: 9.8.2021 

Stemming the bleeding from a traumatic injury can save lives, but it’s hard to get adhesives to stick when blood is making everything wet. Now, MIT researchers have developed a new surgical glue that can halt bleeding within 30 seconds, inspired by the super-strong underwater adhesive used by barnacles.

Kredit: MIT.In tests in rats and pigs, the glue stayed in place for weeks at a time, before it is slowly broken down by the body as the tissue heals. That said, if need be it can be removed earlier by applying a solution that dissolves it. The glue also didn’t induce much inflammation around the site as the tissue heals.

The secret ingredient is (as is often the case) one that nature has already perfected. Barnacles are known to firmly attach themselves to rocks, ship hulls and other solid surfaces that are, obviously, wet and often dirty. So the researchers took a page out of their book.

It turns out that barnacles secrete two different liquids to anchor themselves. The first is an oil that repels and displaces water, allowing the second liquid – a protein-based adhesive – a cleaner slate to stick to.

To mimic this stuff, the team built on previous medical adhesives they’ve developed. In 2019 they described a double-sided tape that could replace sutures in sealing a wound or incision in an organ or skin. This time, they froze sheets of their material, ground it into tiny particles then suspended those into a silicone oil.





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