This barnacle-inspired glue seals bleeding organs in seconds

Then came the pigs. Yuk looped into a team at the Mayo Clinic who were better equipped to operate on large animals. The team wanted to avoid relying on the blood’s natural clotting ability, as many people undergoing surgery have clotting problems themselves. Thus, before any experiment, the three pigs tested received heparin, an anticoagulant. The researchers cut three holes 1 centimeter wide and 1 centimeter deep in the liver of each of the animals, then treated the nine wounds with the paste or a TachoSil patch.

Tiffany Sarrafian, one of the team’s vets, says she’s never seen anything work like this glue. “We just put the dough, and we count” for a few seconds, said Sarrafian, recalling the procedure. “You take your hand away and you’re like, ‘Wait, there’s no blood! It was pretty amazing.

Sarrafian had predicted that if the commercial comparison patch did not work after three minutes, it would reverse the anticoagulant in order to keep the pigs alive and then allow them to clot and heal naturally. But she added another step to stop the bleeding faster: splashing on a pea-sized squeeze of experimental glue. “It’s kind of miraculous, in a way,” she says.

To be fair, clotting patches like TachoSil are not designed to stop heavy blood flow from tissues with non-clotting wounds. But, in medicine, it is an unmet need, explains Christoph Nabzdyk, surgeon for the Mayo team. “As populations age, you have more and more patients who have either acquired bleeding disorders or who end up taking anticoagulants,” he says. “The issue of bleeding and bleeding control is important. “

He and Saraffian add that having a cheap glue that stops major bleeding and Going over already wet surfaces would be potentially life-saving for patients, and would be particularly useful in places without a lot of surgical resources, such as in wilderness areas, combat zones or less developed countries.

“Nothing in the material is completely new, but this concept is really cool and unconventional,” says Shrike Zhang, a biomedical engineer who runs a lab at Harvard Medical School. While materials like silicone oil and adhesive ingredients are common, their combination does something exciting. “It’s early enough, but the animal data is pretty solid,” he continues.

But, says Wang, the Stanford cardiothoracic surgery resident, there are still things that need to be optimized before the adhesive can be used in humans. A glue ball that seals damaged tissue in an emergency, or adheres to surrounding healthy tissue, could complicate subsequent surgeries. “The question is, will you be able to operate in this area? ” he asks.

Yuk’s team has come up with a solution to reverse this type of adhesive joint, and results in rats are promising.

They also want to know how long this seal lasts; ideally, it shouldn’t dissolve until the tissue has healed, but it shouldn’t last forever either. The new study shows that the paste dissolves noticeably within 12 weeks, based on microscope images in a separate experiment using rats. Depending on the injury and the healing response, this may be sufficient.

Another challenge is that other types of sealants are known to kill tissue over time. Wang and Yuk note that a long-term study will be essential. Their longest observation on bleeding organs so far is about a month after applying the glue, using the Mayo Clinic test pigs.

And while it may still be many years before a sealant replaces the trusted suture, surgeons and mechanical engineers would be happy to be able to glue patients back together quickly, to get bodies back to work again. like well-oiled machines.

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