Slug mucus is the inspiration behind a new adhesive to close surgical wounds and reduce the use of surgical staples, according to new research out of Harvard.
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.