New glue can seal wounds within a few seconds

Scientists at the University of Sydney and the internationally recognized Harvard Medical School have developed a kind of surgical glue in their current research that can close wounds within seconds by using UV light. The physicians published the results of their development in the journal "Science Translational Medicine".

Surgeries often use medical staples and sutures to close wounds. However, this has some disadvantages. Physicians have now developed a medical adhesive, which can close wounds after just a few seconds.(Image: AntonioDiaz /

Disadvantages of sutures and staples

For example, when surgeons complete successful lung surgery, patients and doctors should be able to breathe easier. However, the danger is really only overcome after weeks or months, when the experts finally remove the sutures or medical staples used. In this example, we assume that in the meantime, no medical complications or holes have occurred at the suture of the injury. However, if the wound has opened earlier, further surgical procedures will be needed and the time of regeneration will increase, the researchers explain.

Gel-like Glue is Produced from a Human Protein

The newly developed surgical glue seems to be so effective that it could replace surgical staples and sutures altogether, explains the author. Nasim Annabi from the well-known Harvard Medical School. The gelatinous glue is made from a human protein. This protein has been modified to react to ultraviolet light. The special adhesive is called MeTro. The application of the adhesive is relatively simple. The adhesive is applied to a wound by medical professionals, then the wound is exposed to UV light for a few seconds. After this process, the wound is already closed and sealed, say the experts.

What are the advantages of the surgical adhesive?

The adhesive MeTro differs from all other methods available so far. Annabi. The adhesive adheres very well to various surfaces such as tissues of the lung, heart or other organs. The elastic quality of the gel makes it ideal for tissues that require extra flexibility, such as an expanding lung, say the medical profession. The use of the adhesive can also be fine tuned. So the pace is influenced, in which the surgical glue dissipates again and the degradation of the adhesive can be adapted specifically to the period of time that the affected organ needs for healing, the researchers add.

adhesive additionally supports the regeneration of tissue

Because the new adhesive was produced from a human protein, it has yet another valuable feature."We've found that the glue is not only a means of sealing wounds, the surgical glue actually helps with the regeneration of tissue," explains Dr. Annabi.

Novel Adhesive May Be Used in Heart Attacks

For example, after a heart attack, the surgical glue may be applied to the damaged heart muscle to help regrow the muscles. Previous research has shown that the newly developed glue can also be sprayed on the skin to form a barrier to wounds while promoting healing, the researchers report.

Experiments on Rats Showed Very Good Results

In their recent study, scientists tested MeTro on the lungs of rats. They found that the surgical adhesive works much better than traditional sealants and commonly used sutures. Also, because it is not possible in the latter ways to close wounds organ tissue, to move naturally, explain the scientists.

The new adhesive could be used in hospitals as early as three years

Annabi and her colleagues plan in the future to test the special adhesive over a longer period of time. Thereafter, the first clinical trials will then be carried out on humans. Dr. Annabi suspects that surgical adhesives will be available in hospitals within the next three to five years.(as)

In the future, a new adhesive could replace sutures and medical staples

So far, surgeons have used special sutures or medical staples to close wounds, for example. However, such a kind of treatment involves some risks. The sutures or staples must be removed after a period of time, which may be several weeks or even several months. In addition, such methods can lead to wounds reopening and further hospitalization becoming necessary. Researchers seem to have come up with a much better solution now. This is a type of surgical glue or glue that could make staples and sutures redundant in the future.

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