Surgical glue closes wounds in 60 seconds, can be programmed to stay sealed for months

Biomedical engineers from the University of Sydney and the United States have developed an elastic and adhesive surgical glue capable of sealing wounds in 60 seconds. Finding are explained in Science Translational Medicine.

The glue, called MeTro, was developed to seal wounds in body tissue that expands and relaxes including the heart, lungs and arteries. The glue is able to reach internal organs, which are often too difficult to apply staples or sutures to, and seals within 60 seconds using ultraviolet light.

"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," said lead author Nasim Annabi, assistant professor in department of chemical engineering at Northeastern University. "We then further stabilize it by curing it on-site with a short light-mediated crosslinking treatment. This allows the sealant to be very accurately placed and to tightly bond and interlock with structures on the tissue surface."

Additionally, the glue contains a built-in enzyme that can be modified to expand the amount of time the sealant lasts from hours to months. In the study on the effectiveness of the glue, researchers found it could seal incisions in the lung and arteries of a pig without the need for sutures or staples.

"MeTro seems to remain stable over the period that wounds need to heal in demanding mechanical conditions and later it degrades without any signs of toxicity; it checks off all the boxes of a highly versatile and efficient surgical sealant with potential also beyond pulmonary and vascular suture and staple-less applications," said professor Khademhosseini from Harvard Medical School.