Bio-inspired glue can mend `broken hearts`

ANI| Updated: Jan 09, 2014, 14:57 PM IST
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Washington: Scientists claimed to have developed waterproof and light-activated bio-inspired glue that can literally mend broken hearts and treat congenital heart defects without the hassles of highly invasive therapies.

In the preclinical study, researchers from Boston Children's Hospital, BWH and Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a adhesive that could rapidly attach biodegradable patches inside a beating heart-in the exact place where congenital holes in the heart occur, such as with ventricular heart defects.


Recognizing that many creatures in nature have secretions that are viscous and repel water, enabling them to attach under wet and dynamic conditions, the researchers developed a material with these properties that also is biodegradable, elastic and biocompatible.

According to the study authors, the degradable patches secured with the glue remained attached even at increased heart rates and blood pressure.

Pedro del Nido, co-senior study author, said that the adhesive platform addresses all of the drawbacks of previous systems in that it works in the presence of blood and moving structures.

The study's co-first author Nora Lang said that the study demonstrated that the adhesive was strong enough to hold tissue and patches onto the heart equivalent to suturing and the adhesive patch is biodegradable and biocompatible, so nothing foreign or toxic stays in the bodies of these patients.

Importantly, its adhesive abilities are activated with ultraviolent light, providing an on-demand, anti-bleeding seal within 5 seconds of UV light application when applied to high-pressure large blood vessels and cardiac wall defects.

The researchers note that their adhesive will be useful in reducing the invasiveness of surgical procedures, as well as operating times, in addition to improving heart surgery outcomes.

The study is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.