Double-sided tape invention provides alternative to surgical sutures

November 15, 2019

Sutures are the go-to method to close up wounds within the body but scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have recently developed a special double-sided tape – inspired by nature’s glue, produced by spiders – to instead finish the job. Spiders usually secrete charged polysaccharides which absorb water from insect prey in wet conditions, allowing the glue to then adhere to those insects’ bodies.

With the new invention, pieces of the gelatin-chitosan tape are applied to and presses together two surfaces that need to be joined. The harmless tape structure will break down later -gelatine lasts for a few days, while chitosan can last up to a year. Additionally, a material known as polyacrylic acid quickly forms weak hydrogen bonds by absorbing bodily fluids, and sticks adjacent surfaces together until the healing process is complete. Chemicals within the acid also form strong covalent bonds with proteins in the tissue.

The tape has so far successfully pieced together pig tissue including those of the skin, stomach and liver. Ultimately, it is hoped that the tape could be used in place of surgical sutures and also to secure implants within the body.


Category: Features, Technology & Devices

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