Some of the current adhesives on the market can be toxic and stick together tissues weakly. Some can’t be used in wet environments altogether, which can pose a problem for closing tissues in the body. Harvard University engineering researcher Jianya Li and his team used the defensive mucus secreted by slugs to develop a surgical glue that addresses the challenges associated with previous adhesives.
Li and his team created a family of tough adhesives that replicate the tough but flexible matrix of the mucus. The mucus also contains positively charged polymers that stick to substances through a variety of physical mechanisms like covalent bonds.