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Scientists develop New Surgical Glue Inspired by Slug Slime as Alternative to Sutures and Staples for Closing Wounds

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A slug rests on a finger of a gardener in a park in London, April 29, 2016. Scientists have studied the mucus of snails to develop an experimental surgical glue.
  • Scientists developed a medical adhesive inspired by slug slime
  • The surgical glue is said to be strong, non-toxic and the best replacement to sutures and staples for healing wounds
  • The first such experiment was inspired by the sticking properties of underwater mussels

Scientists have developed an experimental surgical glue inspired by the mucus secreted by slugs that could offer an alternative to sutures and staples for closing wounds.

While some medical glues already exist, they often adhere weakly, are not particularly flexible and frequently cannot be used in very wet conditions.

To get around those problems, a group of scientists from Harvard and other research centers decided to learn from slugs, which — as well as making slime to glide on — can produce extremely adhesive mucus as a defense mechanism.

The slugs’ trick is to generate a substance that not only forms strong bonds on wet surfaces but also has a matrix that dissipates energy at the point of adhesion, making it highly flexible.

Strong, nontoxic

The man-made version of this tough adhesive is based on the same principles and in a series of experiments reported in the journal Science on Thursday it was shown to adhere strongly to pig skin, cartilage, tissue and organs. It also proved nontoxic to human cells.

In one test, the new glue was used to close a wound in a blood-covered pig’s heart and successfully maintained a leak-free seal after the heart was inflated and deflated tens of thousands of times.

In another case it was applied to a laceration in a rat’s liver and performed just as well as a hemostat, a surgical tool often used in operations to control bleeding.

“There are a variety of potential uses and in some settings this could replace sutures and staples, which can cause damage and be difficult to place in certain situations,” said researcher David Mooney, professor of bioengineering at Harvard.

Mussel-inspired glue

Mooney and colleagues envisage the new adhesive will be made in sheets and cut to size, although they have also developed an injected version for closing deep wounds. The injection would be hardened using ultraviolet light, like dental fillings.

It is not the first time that scientists have taken inspiration from nature to devise a better medical adhesive.

Four years ago, another research group developed a glue inspired by the underwater sticking properties of mussels, but Mooney thinks slugs win hands-down in terms of stickiness and flexibility.

The scientists are applying for patents, although it will require a commercial company to then license the technology and take it into the next phase of human clinical trials. (VOA)

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London, Paris, Bangkok- Top 3 Travel Destinations in the Past Decade

Bangkok, London, Paris top 3 travel destinations of decade says a new report

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Paris is one among the most travelled cities in the world. Pixabay

While there has been significant movement in visitors to smaller cities, the top 10 have remained largely consistent over the past decade, with London, Paris and Bangkok grabbing the top three spots, according to a new report.

The top three overseas destinations for Indian travellers are Dubai, Singapore and Mecca, revealed the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2019 which ranks 200 cities based on proprietary analysis of publicly available visitor volume and spend data.

Since 2009, the number of international overnight visitors grew an astounding 76 per cent, according to the report.

In 2019, Bangkok became the No. 1 destination for the fourth consecutive year, with more than 22 million international overnight visitors.

Paris and London, in flipped positions this year, hold the No. 2 and 3 spots respectively, both hovering over 19 million.

When looking at the cities by dollars spent, Dubai tops the list with travellers spending $553 on an average per day. Mecca, new to the top 10 last year, remains at No. 2 for the second consecutive year, with Bangkok rounding out the top three.

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Paris and London, in flipped positions this year, hold the No. 2 and 3 spots respectively, both hovering over 19 million. Pixabay

Between all of the destinations within the Index, arrivals have grown on average 6.5 per cent year-over-year since 2009, with expenditure growing on average 7.4 per cent, said the report.

Cities in the Asia-Pacific region have seen the largest increase in international travellers since 2009, growing 9.4 per cent.

Also Read- Here Are The Ways In Which Technology Has Improved Travelling

In comparison, Europe, which saw the second highest growth, was up 5.5 per cent.

This is spurred by the growth in Chinese travellers. Since 2009, China has jumped up six places to be the No. 2 origin country for travellers to the 200 included destinations – behind only the US, said the report. (IANS)