Spiders inspire double-sided sticky tape to heal wounds
Getting tissues in the body to form a tight seal is difficult because water on their surface makes them slippery. Sutures or stitches that hold a wound or cut together don't always work well and can lead to infections.
Tissue glues which already exist can take several minutes to work and may drip onto other body parts. The scientists from MIT noticed how spiders catch their prey in the rain by secreting a sticky material containing a carbohydrate known as polysaccharides that absorb water from the surface of an insect almost instantaneously, leaving a small, dry patch the glue can then stick to.
The researchers developed a double-sided tape treated with a type of acid to do the same. They then tried it out on different types of rat and pig tissue, including the lung, small intestine, stomach, liver and skin. They found it worked within about five seconds. The team said that with more research it could be used in place of sutures and even to attach medical devices to organs such as the heart. But they warned there are still several years away from human trials.