Getting stitches will soon be a thing of the past because scientists have created double sided tape which can seal wounds in 5 seconds. Inspired by a sticky substance that spiders use to catch their prey, scientists of Massachusetts Institute of Technology designed the tape that can rapidly seal tissues together and have proven to work after they tested it on wounds in rats and pigs.
The researchers showed that their new tape can tightly bind tissues such as the lungs and intestines within just five seconds. They hope that the tape could eventually be used in place of surgical sutures. It could also prove life-saving in preventing leaks following gastric surgery, which can lead to sepsis and other deadly complications, the experts added.
Dr Xuanhe Zhao, an engineer who helped create the tape, said, ‘There are over 230 million major surgeries all around the world per year.
‘Many of them require sutures to close the wound, which can actually cause stress on the tissues and can cause infections, pain, and scars.’
‘We are proposing a fundamentally different approach to sealing tissue’’
‘It’s very challenging to suture soft or fragile tissues such as the lung and trachea, but with our double-sided tape, within five seconds we can easily seal them.’
The team – who took inspiration from the sticky substance spiders use to catch prey – also found the tape is quicker than surgical glues.
Medical glues, which have been used since the 1970s and were first used by the military, can take several minutes to seal tissue.
Dr Zhao and colleagues have previously created gels proven to be tougher than the material barnacles use to cling to rocks.
The tape which is inspired from inspiration spiders led scientists to mimic the process by using polyacrylic acid, an absorbent material used in diapers. Inside the acid were chemicals known to create strong bonds.
To explore possible applications for the new double-sided tape, the researchers tested it in a few different types of pig tissue, including skin, small intestine, stomach, and liver.
“It’s very challenging to suture soft or fragile tissues such as the lung and trachea, but with our double-sided tape, within five seconds we can easily seal them,” Yuk says.
The tape also worked well to seal damage to the gastrointestinal tract, which could be very useful in preventing leakage that sometimes occurs following surgery.