Image Source: http://news.mit.edu/2020/surgical-tape-wounds-0622

Researchers at MIT have recently developed a painlessly detachable adhesive tape that is a potential replacement to currently used sutures. This surgical adhesive tape essentially works as a ‘band-aid’ on internal organs. It allows surgeons to close internal wounds using the tape without the need for invasive sutures.

The initial version of this surgical tape was design as a double-sided tape made of polyacrylic acid and NHS esters (a chemical group), which allowed the tape to absorb excess fluid on the internal surfaces and convert them to hydrogen bonds. These hydrogen bonds helped to connect the tissues. While an initial version of the tape could aid ready adhesion to slippery internal surfaces, it was difficult to take off, posing the threat of serious damages to the delicate internal organs.

The second prototype addressed this concern and the team at MIT designed it using a naturally occurring compound, glutathione, which could dissolve the hydrogen bonds, and baking soda, which helped to sever the bonds off the bandage when a dissolving agent was sprayed on the tape. This ensured a safe and painless way to remove the surgical ‘band-aid’ without causing harm to the organs.

With the successful trial of this second prototype on pig organs, the team is now geared to develop a modified version that can be used to bind leaky intestines and even haemorrhages.

This ability to ‘band-aid’ internal wounds without the need for invasive sutures is a huge leapin the field of surgery and offers great life-saving potential for patients with critical internal injuries.

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