No more stitches, surgical glue is here to seal wounds in 60 seconds

MeTro, biomedical glue, has potential to seal any surgical wounds both internal and external within 60 seconds after applying on wounds.

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Highly elastic and glutinous substances, MeTro, a surgical glue, which seals any kind of cut wounds without the need for conventional staples or sutures could transform how surgeries are performed, said study.

Biomedical engineers from the University of Sydney have developed a special kind of elastic substance or glue used in healing surgical wounds, in collaboration with the United States' researchers.

This biomedically prepared glue has high elasticity that makes it potential for sealing wounds in body tissues which often get expanded, especially in lungs, hearts and arteries- that may at any time get re-opened.

Known as 'MeTro', the elastic glue works on internal wounds which are often complex to reach these areas and require typical staples or sutures as there are more chances of hampering the wounds due to surrounding fluids.

These promising results are published in Science Translational Medicine in the form of a research paper by the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Science, Boston's Northeastern University, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (BIDMC) in Boston.

"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, Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University.

"We then further stabilise it by curing it on-site with a short light-mediated cross-linking treatment. This allows the sealant to be very accurately placed and to tightly bond and interlock with structures on the tissue surface," said Annabi.

The potential applications of MeTro help to treat serious surgical internal wounds during emergency operations following car accidents and in a war zone, and many other related hospital surgeries, researchers wrote in their paper.

"MeTro seems to remain stable over the periods 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 staples-less applications," said Khademhosseeini, a professor from the Harvard Medical School.

Since applications of MeTro had shown immense benefits to almost any kind of surgical wound, both internal and external in the body, the researchers are focusing on a range of different settings and solving diverse problems that other available sealants cannot.

MeTro is ready for test on humans and would soon be used in health clinics and hospitals to save human lives.

This article was first published on October 8, 2017