Scientists Look To Slug Slime To Develop New Generation Of Surgical Adhesive
The slug's "defensive mucus turns out to be very sticky and also very strong and highly stretchable," says Jianyu Li, a materials scientist with Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. "That kind of inspired us."
The Washington Post:
Stretchy Glue Inspired By Slugs Could Be The Future Of Sutures
Inspired by slug slime, scientists have developed a flexible adhesive that sticks to wet surfaces. This stretchy glue can be attached to a beating, bleeding heart and could someday replace stitches in wound repair. Other commercially available glues create strong but inflexible bonds or stretchy but weak connections. The slug-inspired glue cements tightly and it is held together by a stretchy matrix. (Gallegos, 7/27)
Slug Slime Inspires Scientists To Invent Surgical Glue
Li had been combing the scientific literature for clues to how to make a better surgical adhesive, something that could repair a delicate organ without causing the damage of stitches or staples, or the risk of air or fluid leaks. As he and his colleagues report Thursday in the journal Science, this slug-slime-inspired material could help a lot. Usually there's a trade-off between flexibility and stickiness, Li says. Super Glue works well on dry surfaces, but it's rigid and toxic, so it would never work for patching a beating heart or a bleeding wound. Other materials are flexible but not very sticky. And then there's defensive slug slime. (Bichell, 7/27)