Closing up wounds usually require sutures or staples, however, neither are capable of creating a whole seal. The subject of internal bleeding or injuries is a whole different story, specially on the deeper organs or the ones that move a lot. Sealants provide a solution, however they do not meet the entire necessities of an efficient surgical device. Recently, researchers have developed a brand new sealant that will truly all of the needs to replace sutures and staples. This piece of artwork was published this week in Science Translational Medicine.
“A good surgical sealant needs to have a combination of characteristics: it needs to be elastic, adhesive, non-toxic and biocompatible,” Nasim Annabi, an author of the study and a researcher at Northeastern University, commented in her statement. “Most sealants on the market possess one or two of these characteristics, but not all of them. We set out to engineer a material that could have all of these properties.” This product, dubbed MeTro, is biocompatible because it is made with proteins similar to those that create elastin in humans and changing the concentrations of these proteins in the sealant allowed the researchers to create MeTro hydrogels with a range of various elasticities. Moreover, MeTro sets in just 60 seconds with the help of a UV light.