Researchers at Harvard University have developed a remarkable new adhesive material that may become useful for surgeons and other healthcare professionals to repair injured and diseased tissues.
The team took inspiration from the Dusky Arion (Arion fuscus) slug. This animal releases a unique glue on its bottom that makes it stick to practically every surface. Being stuck makes the slug difficult for predators to remove and eat.
What scientists at Ithaca College in New York have discovered a couple years ago is that the glue that Dusky Arion produces consists of a matrix that has positively charged proteins embedded throughout. The Harvard team, using this knowledge, went ahead and made their own adhesive. It has two layers: one is an adhesive that includes positive polymers that stick out of it, and the other is a “dissipative matrix,” which is made of alginate-polyacrylamide and that gives the final product strength, resilience, and a way to spread physical stress throughout.
“Most prior material designs have focused only on the interface between the tissue and the adhesive,” said Jianyu Li, Ph.D., former Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard’s Wyss Institute and now an Assistant Professor at McGill University. “Our adhesive is able to dissipate energy through its matrix layer, which enables it to deform much more before it breaks.”
Study in Science: Tough adhesives for diverse wet surfaces…
Via: Wyss Institute