Closing a wound usually requires a needle going through your skin, or staples. Just imagine having to sit there watching staples sticking into your flesh, not a pretty sight, right? Well, researchers have found an easier way to get things done.
One of the primary reasons the ways as mentioned above to close wounds are not perfect is the fact that they do not completely seal the entrance area. OK then, maybe doctors should use sealants to get the job done, but you know what? None of the ones available today meet the requirements of being a useful surgical tool.
A better way to seal wounds
Researchers have created a new type of sealant that may meet all the demands of being a surgical tool. The project is called MeTro, and the reason it’s biocompatible due to the type of proteins used to create the gel. The protein in question is similar to ones used to make up elastin in human beings.
“A good surgical sealant needs to have a combination of characteristics: it needs to be elastic, adhesive, non-toxic and biocompatible,” according to Nasim Annabi, one of the authors of the study and a researcher at Northeastern University, in a statement. “Most sealants on the market possess one or two of these characteristics, but not all of them. We set out to engineer a material that could have all of these properties.”
There’s a good chance for MeTro to take the health industry by storm due to some of the things it’s capable of. One particular ability we find interesting is that when placed on a wound, it takes up to 60 seconds for the sealant to harden with the help of a UV light.
Rats make good test subjects
The researchers behind MeTro got to where they are now by testing the technology on rats. They used it to seal punctured lungs and incisions, and it worked really well. Additionally, MeTro was used to close wounds in pig lungs, and due to that success, the next step is to test it on humans.
There’s no date at the moment as to when this exciting piece of technology will become commonplace. It’s still in the testing phase, and anything could happen that might cause it never to make it into the health industry.
Still, in its current form, MeTro looks terrific. It could change the way doctors seal wounds forever during and after surgery. The ability for it to harden in up to 60 seconds is also a significant plus, and we can’t wait to see it being used in the real world.