The new surgical glue, called MeTro, is billed as “a stretchy, sticky alternative to sutures.” The highly-elastic material stops bleeding in 60 seconds when exposed to ultraviolet light. In the video above, Tony Weiss from The University of Sydney describes MeTro as something you could squirt on yourself if you were bleeding heavily after an accident. Now that’s a… sticky situation. (I’m sorry.)
But MeTro isn’t only useful for first aid during an emergency. It could also improve surgery outcomes. The lead author of the study was Nasim Annabi from Boston’s Northeastern University. She says, “The beauty of the MeTro formulation is that, as soon as it comes in contact with tissue surfaces, it solidifies into a gel-like phase without running away.” Since the concentration of a built-in nontoxic degrading enzyme can be altered, the glue can be tailored to last however long (in hours or months) a medical suture is needed, and its elasticity means it likely won’t rip moving tissue like sutures and staples can.
MeTro’s high elasticity makes it ideal for sealing wounds in body tissues that continually expand and relax — such as lungs, hearts and arteries — that are otherwise at risk of re-opening. The material also works on internal wounds that are often in hard-to-reach areas and have typically required staples or sutures due to surrounding body fluid hampering the effectiveness of other sealants. (Via)
There are some similar products we’ve discussed in the past, like QuikClot and Veti-Gel, which both work by promoting clotting in emergency situations. Neither is a surgical glue.
The research was conducted in collaboration with researchers from The University of Sydney, Harvard University, Northeastern University, and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
The full paper about the research was published today in Science Translational Medicine.
(Via The University of Sydney)