Imagine getting involved in a car accident, having some internal bleeding from puncturing a lung, one of the body’s most sensitive organs which is also hard to repair.
Scientists at the University of Sydney have developed a surgical glue called MeTro that they claim can help seal wounds in seconds.
"When you watch MeTro, you can see it act like a liquid, filling the gaps and conforming to the shape of the wound," said the University of Sydney's Professor Anthony Weiss.
With its findings published in Science Translational Medicine, the MeTro glue has so far successfully sealed incisions in the arteries and lungs of rodents and the lungs of pigs, without the need for sutures and staples.
It combines natural elastic protein technologies and light-sensitive molecules, which were both developed in separate studies. Its elasticity makes it ideal for hard-to-reach areas that have typically required staples or sutures.
Once placed into a wound, it is treated with UV light. It can also be modified to account for the different lengths of healing time required for various wounds, thanks to what researchers say is a built-in degrading enzyme.
"It responds well biologically and interfaces closely with tissue to promote healing. The gel is easily stored and can be squirted directly onto a wound or cavity,” added Weiss.
"The potential applications are powerful -- from treating serious internal wounds at emergency sites such as following car accidents and in war zones, as well as improving hospital surgeries."
The researchers say they’re ready to test the glue on people.