“Slug Slime” Glue May Be Coming to an Operating Room Near You

Few things sound as disgusting to our ears as the words “slug slime.” But scientists and medical professionals now have a reason to love the sticky mucus secreted by one of the world’s least favorite creatures. This is because slug slime is the inspiration behind a new and experimental surgical glue that could prove extremely helpful in closing wounds from surgery and injury.

Medical glues have been in use for years, but they suffer from a host of problems. They can only work on dry surfaces, so they won’t work in all conditions. They often don’t adhere very well, and they dry too stiffly. They are also too toxic to be used inside the human body. This new slug-inspired glue promises to correct these problems.

environment.no

The researchers from Harvard University who developed the glue studied the European slug Arion subfuscus, which secretes a defensive mucus to protect against predators. This mucus can form strong bonds even on wet surfaces. It is also highly flexible, so it doesn’t crack or become too stiff after it dries.

The scientists have created a man-made version of the slug mucus based on its chemical properties (no slug mucus was used in making the glue). So far, it has been shown to adhere strongly to pig skin, tissue, organs, and cartilage. It has even been used to patch up a beating pig heart. It maintained a leak-free seal on the heart even after it inflated and deflated thousands of times. Better still, it is non-toxic, so it can be used almost anywhere on the human body, including internally.

It is hoped that the glue can be used to replace sutures and staples, as these methods can sometimes cause damage and can be hard to place in certain areas of the body and under some circumstances. It might also make a good replacement for some surgical tools, like the haemostat, which is used to control bleeding during surgeries (it has already been tested for this purpose using a rat’s liver).

The current plan is that this new substance will be produced in sheets that can be cut to size. However, they have also developed an injectable version of the adhesive that can be used for closing very deep wounds. After injection, the adhesive would be hardened with ultraviolet light, in the same way that dentists harden dental fillings.

As of now, the scientists are still applying for patents. But they will still need a commercial company to license the adhesive and put it through the human trials required for it to be put on the market.

Next Article
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Beef Jerky Causing Hallucinations

    A new study has found that people eating beef jerky could be more likely to end up with bipolar disorders. The cured meats like pepperoni and salami can develop mania which is the mental state that causes mood swings. In fact, they are also subject to causing confusion and a...

    Read More
  • Hire An Ambulance In Moscow To Beat Traffic

    If you are making enough money in Moscow and don’t want to get stuck in traffic jams then fear not there is a solution. Wealthy Russian residents are hiring ambulances with luxury interiors to speed them from destination to destination. These “Ambulance Taxis” are an easy way to beat the...

    Read More
  • The Wallet Lost In A Plane Crash Returned 30 Years Later

    Walking up high in the Andes, crossing over glaciers, would not be the sort of place you might find a lost wallet. Climbing up with the air thinning, Ricardo Pena saw some blue material frozen in the ice. It was a jacker, he quickly pulled it out of the snow and saw a wallet tumbled...

    Read More
  • The World’s Biggest Cave Could Fit A Skyscraper

    If you ever get a chance to visit Vietnam, make sure to plan a visit to the Son Doong Cave: the world’s biggest cave. Located near Laos to Vietnam border the Hang Son Doong even has a free-flowing internal subterranean river. In Vietnamese, if you translate the name then you would be left with “cave...

    Read More
  • Brain Scan Shows That Dogs Really Are Man’s Best Friend

    Humans and dogs have lived together for over 30,000 years, so it is only natural that they became best buddies. At least that is what most people refer to dogs as man’s best friend. Over the years we can definitely confirm that dogs have become more popular and even more beloved. In the United States,...

    Read More
  • Renaissance Books That Will Actually Kill You

    Reading is good for you, that is what your parents and the school has always taught you. There are, however, some books in the world that you will want to avoid at all costs. Recently some Renaissance manuscripts were discovered in a school library that was poisonous. In fact, you could die just by reading...

    Read More