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This slug slime-inspired glue can patch up bloody pig hearts and gooey rat livers

A new class of tissue glues can seal a punctured pig heart, new research says. Called Tough Adhesives, these new glues could one day help close up wounds in the hard-to-reach, slimy depths of our bodies. That’s still a ways away, however. So far, they’ve mainly been tested on the blood-covered skin and beating heart of a pig.

The research is part of a bigger push to develop tissue adhesives that can safely and effectively seal up internal cuts and holes left by trauma, surgery, or birth defects. Right now, a patient’s options are pretty limited to sutures and staples, which can be challenging to use in hard-to-reach, internal places. Medical-grade super glue can only work on dry surfaces like skin. It also dries too stiffly, and is too toxic to use inside the body. The other tissue adhesives on the market just don’t stick well enough, experts say.

Developed by a team of scientists at Harvard University, these new Tough Adhesives can stay sticky even in soggy environments, according to a new study published today in the journal Science. They also don’t appear to be toxic to human cells. That’s key for a glue designed to be used inside the human body. The researchers used their Tough Adhesives to successfully close up a hole in a beating pig heart (the pig was dead, and the heart was artificially made to beat with a machine). It also stopped a slimy rat liver from bleeding, and it stuck to pig skin and a real live pig heart that had been dribbled with blood. “That’s the fun part,” says the study’s lead author, Harvard postdoctoral fellow Jianyu Li.

“It’s an elegant piece of work,” says Mark Grinstaff, a chemistry professor at Boston University and founder of tissue adhesives company Hyperbranch, who was not involved in the research. The fact that the glue worked even on the rat liver was noteworthy, he says: “The liver is really hard to get materials to stick to because it has a really slimy surface.” Jeff Karp, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and founder of another tissue adhesives company, Gecko Biomedical, agrees. He cautions, however, that translating a new tissue glue to the clinic isn’t easy.

Many scientists trying to develop better adhesives take inspiration from naturally sticky creatures, like mussels that glue themselves to rocks. The Harvard team, working in bioengineer David Mooney’s lab, looked to the Dusky Arion, a two-inch-long slug that oozes a sticky, defensive mucus. This mucus has two key components: an adhesive that anchors to surfaces, mixed into a kind of flexible gel.

The researchers didn’t actually use any of the molecules in the slug mucus, lead author Li clarifies. Instead, they used a similar and intuitive design strategy: mixing a sticky ingredient with something that can stretch and withstand the stresses exerted by a moving body. The sticky ingredients were ones that already exist, like the gelatin you’d find in your jello, connective tissue extracted from a rat tail, a compound found in shrimp shells, and two synthetic molecules. (The shrimp shell molecule, they found, was among the stickiest.)

For the stretchable, shock-absorbing material, the researchers used something called a hydrogel, which is basically a chemical soup mostly made out of water with a drizzle of a molecule found in algae. Layering these two components created several different versions of these Tough Adhesives. They dried in minutes even on bloody surfaces, and could withstand the forces from thousands of heart contractions.

“It’s very promising technology,” Karp says. The challenge, he adds, will be translating it to the clinic. One hurdle these new glues will have to overcome is manufacturing, he says. Actually taking a product to market requires making it on a large scale, and making sure it doesn’t go bad when it’s sitting on a shelf, waiting to be used. “Manufacturing has been a killer for a lot of these technologies,” he says. Another barrier can be convincing clinicians to actually use the new glues that may be difficult to apply and are different from what they’re used to. But there’s a huge unmet need for this kind of technology, and Karp says this is a promising approach.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/27/16051414/surgical-glue-tissue-adhesive-slug-slime-mucus-pig-heart-blood-science

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Founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov in February 2011 with the participation of leading Russian specialists in the field of neural interfaces, robotics, artificial organs and systems.

The main goals of the 2045 Initiative: the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity which meets global civilization challenges; the creation of optimale conditions promoting the spiritual enlightenment of humanity; and the realization of a new futuristic reality based on 5 principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies. 

The main science mega-project of the 2045 Initiative aims to create technologies enabling the transfer of a individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society.

A large-scale transformation of humanity, comparable to some of the major spiritual and sci-tech revolutions in history, will require a new strategy. We believe this to be necessary to overcome existing crises, which threaten our planetary habitat and the continued existence of humanity as a species. With the 2045 Initiative, we hope to realize a new strategy for humanity's development, and in so doing, create a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future.

The "2045" team is working towards creating an international research center where leading scientists will be engaged in research and development in the fields of anthropomorphic robotics, living systems modeling and brain and consciousness modeling with the goal of transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality.

An annual congress "The Global Future 2045" is organized by the Initiative to give platform for discussing mankind's evolutionary strategy based on technologies of cybernetic immortality as well as the possible impact of such technologies on global society, politics and economies of the future.


Future prospects of "2045" Initiative for society


The emergence and widespread use of affordable android "avatars" controlled by a "brain-computer" interface. Coupled with related technologies “avatars’ will give people a number of new features: ability to work in dangerous environments, perform rescue operations, travel in extreme situations etc.
Avatar components will be used in medicine for the rehabilitation of fully or partially disabled patients giving them prosthetic limbs or recover lost senses.


Creation of an autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, ‘avatar’, will save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged. Any patient with an intact brain will be able to return to a fully functioning  bodily life. Such technologies will  greatly enlarge  the possibility of hybrid bio-electronic devices, thus creating a new IT revolution and will make  all  kinds of superimpositions of electronic and biological systems possible.


Creation of a computer model of the brain and human consciousness  with the subsequent development of means to transfer individual consciousness  onto an artificial carrier. This development will profoundly change the world, it will not only give everyone the possibility of  cybernetic immortality but will also create a friendly artificial intelligence,  expand human capabilities  and provide opportunities for ordinary people to restore or modify their own brain multiple times.  The final result  at this stage can be a real revolution in the understanding of human nature that will completely change the human and technical prospects for humanity.


This is the time when substance-independent minds will receive new bodies with capacities far exceeding those of ordinary humans. A new era for humanity will arrive!  Changes will occur in all spheres of human activity – energy generation, transportation, politics, medicine, psychology, sciences, and so on.

Today it is hard to imagine a future when bodies consisting of nanorobots  will become affordable  and capable of taking any form. It is also hard to imagine body holograms featuring controlled matter. One thing is clear however:  humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species. Moreover,  prerequisites for a large-scale  expansion into outer space will be created as well.


Key elements of the project in the future

• International social movement
• social network immortal.me
• charitable foundation "Global Future 2045" (Foundation 2045)
• scientific research centre "Immortality"
• business incubator
• University of "Immortality"
• annual award for contribution to the realization of  the project of "Immortality”.

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