Researchers create reptile-derived ‘super glue’ that stops bleeding in seconds using visible light – ScienceDaily

Indiana Jones hates snakes. And he is certainly not alone. The fear of snakes is so common that it even has its own name: ophiophobia.

Kibret Mequanint doesn’t particularly like rippling reptiles either (he hates them too) but the Western University bioengineer and his international collaborators have found a new use for snake venom: a “super glue” body tissue which can stop potentially fatal bleeding. in seconds.

Over the past 20 years, Mequanint has developed a number of biomaterial-based medical devices and therapeutic technologies, some of which are either licensed to medical companies or in advanced preclinical testing.

His latest collaborative research discovery is based on a blood clotting enzyme called reptilase or batroxobin found in the venom of lancehead snakes (Bothrops atrox), which are among the most poisonous snakes in South America.

Taking advantage of this coagulation property, Mequanint and the international research team have designed a body tissue adhesive that incorporates the special enzyme into a modified gelatin that can be packaged in a small tube for easy and potentially life-saving application.

“During trauma, injury and emergency bleeding, this ‘super glue’ can be applied by simply squeezing the tube and projecting visible light, like a laser pointer, on it for a few seconds. Even a flashlight for smartphone will do, “said Mequanint, a Western engineering professor.

Compared to clinical fibrin glue, considered the industry gold standard for clinical and field surgeons, the new tissue sealant has 10 times the adhesive strength to resist peeling or leaching due to bleeding. Blood clotting time is also much shorter, cutting it in half from 90 seconds for the fibrin glue to 45 seconds for the new snake venom “super glue”.

This new biotechnology results in less blood loss and more lifesaving. The super-sealer has been tested in models for deep skin cuts, ruptured aorta, and severely injured livers, all considered major bleeding situations.

“We anticipate that this ‘super glue’ fabric will be used to save lives on the battlefield, or other accidental trauma like car crashes,” Mequanint said. “The applicator is also easily integrated into first aid kits. “

In addition, the new snake venom “super glue” can be used for surgical wound closures without sutures.

A hemostatic bioadhesive gel loaded with visible light crosslinked snake extract was published today in the journal Scientists progress. For this discovery, Mequanint collaborated with bioengineers, scientists and physicians at the University of Manitoba and Army Medical University in Chongqing, China.

“The next phase of study that is underway is to translate the discovery of tissue ‘superglue’ to the clinic,” said Mequanint.

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Materials provided by University of Western Ontario. Original written by Jeff Renaud. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.

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