Surgical glue – breakthrough medical technology that could save lives

Surgical glue – breakthrough medical technology that could save lives


We live in amazing times. Biomedical advances we have nowadays are treating
us in terms of a whole range of diseases, a whole range of conditions and that’s fantastic. But imagine an extreme scenario, let’s imagine
a scenario where all of a sudden you or I unfortunately are caught in a major accident,
a car accident. All of a sudden you start to bleed. A large section of you is damaged, there’s
bleeding that’s occurring and blood vessels broken. Let’s imagine for example, even worse, your
lung has now gotten damaged as well and you can’t even breathe properly. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a material
that you could literally squirt onto that broken blood vessel and seal it up. Onto that lung, so you could squirt it onto
there so you could start to breathe normally again. We’ve developed a material that can do just
that. This material is based on a natural elastic
protein, that natural elastic protein is methacrylated. Methacrylated tropolastin so we call it MeTro
for short. Let’s look at the following example. When a human lung is punctured it collapses
and requires surgery. MeTro will eliminate the need for stitching
and stapling and will simplify the procedure. It’s applied directly to the wound site
and activated with light to form a complete seal. Our MeTro seals in seconds, it’s stronger
than surrounding lung tissue and it retains the lung’s natural elasticity. Unlike stitching or staples, MeTro promotes
the healing of tissue, allows the site to recover and returns that tissue to normal
function in just half the time. We have developed this technology in collaboration
with colleagues at Harvard University and Northeastern University, both in the United
States. Those colleagues Nasim Annabi and Ali Khademhosseini
together with us here at the University of Sydney have really allowed us to have an extraordinary
collaboration that has generated in this powerful material MeTro. Now that we’ve got MeTro we’re poised
to be able to do these treatments in humans. But there are so many things we can do with
this material and we look forward to having the opportunity to test and apply these technologies
for a whole range of applications in people.

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