In groundbreaking research, biomedical engineers have come up with a new surgical glue which can seal wounds in just a minute, without patients needing either stitches or staples. This could transform the way that patients are treated at the site of car accidents, for example, as well as boosting the potential for surgical success in hospitals around the world.

MeTro is an extremely adhesive and elastic glue and has been developed through of a collaboration between American biomedical engineers and colleagues from Sydney, Australia, as explained at https://www.materialstoday.com/polymers-soft-materials/news/lets-stick-together/.

Its elasticity means that it is perfectly suited to closing wounds, even in areas where tissue needs to constantly expand and relax. This includes the likes of arteries, hearts and lungs, where wounds can be prone to reopening.

Engineers from the University of Sydney said that the material can also work on patients’ internal wounds which are hard to reach and often need sutures or staples, because body fluids hampers the effectiveness of some other sealants.

60 second solution

The new glue is cured with UV light and is said to set in just 60 seconds. It also has its own degrading enzyme built in, which can be modified in order to determine just how long the glue will last. Depending on the type of wound being glued, the sealant can last anything from hours to months.

Various applications

The MeTro application was overseen by Assistant Professor Nasim Annabi. She said that one of the main advantages of MeTro is that it enters a gel-type phase when it comes into contact with the surface tissue and doesn’t run away. She added that this and the on-site curing means that it can be placed ‘very accurately’ and be allowed to interlock and tightly bond with body tissue.

Professor Anthony Weiss said that the process resembled silicone sealants, sold by companies such as www.ct1ltd.com which, along with silicone sealant remover, are often used around kitchen and bathroom tiles. He added that the potential for this surgical glue was ‘very powerful’ and he said that he envisioned it being used to offer emergency on-site treatments in war zones and after car crashes, and that it also offered improvements in surgical procedures in hospital.

Clinical testing is the next stage in the development of the glue, said Professor Weiss.

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