Purdue researchers are working on a surgical adhesive that could one day replace stitches. Two professors teamed up to create a surgical glue that is not only strong but safe enough to work in and outside of the human body.
Stitches are known to be painful and require puncturing healthy skin and flesh. Purdue Inorganic Chemistry Professor and Co-creator of the surgical glue, Jonathan Wilker says this new glue is a more effective way to mend wounds.
"The way we do it now is just inherently traumatic,” said Wilker. “Poking holes and drilling out totally healthy tissue."
Biomedical Engineer and Co-creator of the new adhesive explains how the material will work.
“It can stick or adhere really well so it's like a glue. And it can also stretch and it's similar to the stiffness of your skin,” said Liu.
Focusing on the stiffness and flexibility is important for making sure the adhesive can work for any condition of the body.
Researchers often turn to nature to inspire new technology. Lui and Wilkers say they turned to ocean mussels and oysters for inspiration.
Wilker explains the natural stick of Mussels.
“What these animals do is they have these threads that come out but the threads are tipped with adhesive," said Wilker.
Researcher’s say it could take a few more years before the surgical glue is ready to move into a marketplace.But once it does, they are confident it will improve the surgical procedure process.