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    Cure for 'Broken' Heart: Slug Prompts Scientists to Invent Bio Super-Glue

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    US scientists have invented new revolutionary glue that could be used as surgical adhesive for wound healing and even repair damaged heart muscle.

    One of the main problems for surgeons is that all existing methods to stop bleeding have their shortcomings.

    For example, stitching a wound with surgical threads requires a lot of time, while conventional superglue, the most convenient and reliable means for mending internal injuries, is very toxic.

    US scientists David Mooney and his colleagues decided to look for other ways to heal wounds and invented a new version of biological super-glue that is compatible with human tissue and at the same time is very strong and stretchable.

    The invention was surprisingly inspired by a slug slime called Arion subfuscus. This slug that lives in forests and fields in Western and Central Europe produces a special adhesive substance that does not dissolve in water and adheres well to any surface. The substance helps the slug to survive, as predators can't peel it off the surface to which it attached.

    The unusual glue created by Harvard researchers sticks to wet surfaces and can repair practically any tissue of the human body, including damaged heart muscle, an article published in the Science journal said.

    The glue is strong and flexible and can soon replace surgical stitches in the future.

    "The adhesive is effective in the presence of blood and thus might work during wound repair," researchers wrote in their publication. "Adhesion occurs within minutes, independent of blood exposure and compatible with in vivo dynamic movements. This family of adhesives may be useful in many areas of application, including tissue adhesives, wound dressings, and tissue repair," they add.

    The efficiency of the glue has been proved in a variety of conditions: the substance managed to repair ripped muscles of rats and even a hole in the heart of a pig. Further experiments have shown that the glue didn't cause irritation, necrosis or any other negative consequences inside the animals' bodies.

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    Tags:
    medicine, repair, wounds, healing, cure, surgery, United States
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