Friday, 4 August 2017

Slimy slugs inspire 'potentially lifesaving' medical glue

By James GallagherHealth and science reporter, BBC News website
28 July 2017

A defensive mucus secreted by slugs has inspired a new kind of adhesive that could transform medicine, say scientists.

The "bio-glue" is incredibly strong, moves with the body and crucially, sticks to wet surfaces.
The team at Harvard University have even used it to seal a hole in a pig's heart.

Experts have described the glue as "really cool" and said there would be "absolutely huge demand" for it.

Getting something to stick to a damp surface has been a huge challenge - think what happens when you get a plaster on your finger wet.

The university's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering turned to the "Dusky Arion" slug, which creates sticky mucus as a defence against predators.

"We engineered our material to take on the key features of slug mucus and the result is really positive," researcher Dr Jianyu Li said.

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