From futuristic Star Trek-style patches which use chilly plasma as a part of the therapeutic course of to UV-activated superglue, we’ve coated a stunning variety of high-tech wound dressings right here at Digital Tendencies. However right here’s one we’ve not come throughout earlier than: A particular adhesive that’s capable of seal up wounds higher than medical options, constructed from a goo excreted from the pores and skin of Chinese language big salamanders.
“This can be a really thrilling medical adhesive that’s beforehand unavailable,” Yu Shrike Zhang, assistant professor within the Division of Medication at Harvard Medical Faculty, advised Digital Tendencies. “It’s delicate [and] capable of adjust to the form of the tissue, but strongly adhesive. It sticks not solely flesh collectively, but in addition to fats. It’s non-toxic, being [of] purely organic origin, and utterly degrades over time, leaving no traces within the physique. Most significantly, its supply is renewable, that means that you would be able to repeatedly receive it with out worrying an excessive amount of about the fee and in any respect about killing the animal.”
To acquire their glue, Zhang and colleagues scratched the backs of Chinese language big salamanders, which might measure as much as four ft in size and weigh greater than 60 kilos. They then collected the excreted fluid and freeze-dried it to type a powder, which they had been later capable of rehydrate utilizing water. The adhesive was used to seal up wounds on dwell rats. It did this successfully, leaving no irritation or scar, and permitting hair to regrow.
“It will be appropriate for therapeutic most wounds within the physique,” Zhang mentioned. “Apart from the pores and skin wounds that we proved in [our] paper, we’re additionally actively exploring using this adhesive for different wound therapeutic purposes, exterior and inner. The power to affix fatty tissues is perhaps one thing that might be notably helpful, but clearly not its solely utility eventualities.”
Zhang famous that as a result of grownup salamanders can produce loads of this pure adhesive, there’s at the moment no want to try to synthesize the goo. “One grownup salamander can produce loads of these adhesives when they’re lively,” he mentioned. “The one limitation lies when these animals hibernate in winter, making the retrieval of the mucus a bit difficult. Nonetheless, we’re not fairly nervous about it because of the quantity that may be collected throughout their lively seasons.”
The crew is at the moment pursuing commercialization alternatives for his or her discovery. A paper describing the work to this point was not too long ago printed within the journal Superior Purposeful Supplies.