TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A ‘miracle’ glue that can close up fatal wounds within seconds could be used to save lives where medical help isn’t immediately available.
Tested on pig models, the gel like substance forms a seal around tissue openings in just 20 seconds after being activated with UV light.
The glue could be used to stop patients bleeding to death during heart surgery, or in emergencies with limited medical access such as war zones and terrorist attacks, DailyMail reported.
In a video demonstrating its usage, the ‘bio-glue’ is shown first being ‘activated’ by UV (ultraviolet) light shone at an opening on a pig liver using a hand held torch.
The gel is made up of water, gelatin and a mix of chemicals that is injected into the injured tissue.
After being activated, it sets quickly, forming a waterproof seal and stops blood-like liquid leaking through.
According to its inventors, the glue is effective even on wet tissue, therefore eliminating the need for staples or stitches to close wounds.
The innovation has been made by scientists at the Zhejiang University of Medicine in China who say the application of the material could range from surgery to the battlefield or civilian catastrophes, either accidental or deliberate.
Professor Hongwei Ouyang, the author of the paper who specializes in regenerative therapy at the university said: ‘Uncontrollable bleeding is a major problem in surgical procedures and after major trauma.
‘Existing clotting substances poorly control haemorrhaging from traumatic arterial and cardiac wounds because of their weak adhesion to wet and mobile tissues.’
now, medical glue has not proved strong enough to withstand the forces inside the pumping chambers of the heart or major blood vessels.
Professor Ouyang added: ‘The triggered hydrogel is like rubber. We can even say it is like a connective tissue.
‘Upon UV irradiation, organic compounds at the tissue-hydrogel interface react with amino groups of the tissue proteins, forming strong bonds.’
‘The components and mechanical properties of the hydrogel mimic those of human soft tissues.’
In the current study, experiments were performed on pigs who were chosen because their organs are a similar size to human’ Professor Ouyang added.
gel was able to close up incisions and holes 6mm wide in the blood vessels as well as organs in just 20 seconds, according to the report.
seals are also waterproof and eliminates the need for stitching or stapling.
‘With a UV ﬂashlight or an optical ﬁbre, this material can potentially be used for completely stitchless sealing, which make it a promising bio-glue for use in surgery and emergency clotting,’ said Professor Ouyang.
Surgical procedures using the hydrogel repaired the pigs’ hearts without the need for stitches in further experiments.
Three of the pigs involved were monitored for a two-week period and they made full recoveries with no abnormalities or side effects.
Professor Ouyang hopes the technology will be available for human use in three years.
‘This glue could be used in a human surgical setting in three to five years. Current commercial medical glue cannot handle heart bleeding.
‘These help to mimic the support structure of cells called the ‘extracellular matrix’, a complex composition of proteins and other molecules.
Gel-based solutions require both strong adhesion to the wet tissue and the strength to resist high blood pressure and the movement of a beating heart.
But very few non-toxic materials meet these criteria, said Professor Ouyang.
Further studies are now being planned to confirm the safety of the glue in further tests – including those involving humans.