The adhesive tapes are particularly practical tools in everyday life. They allow to sealing reliably and quickly cracks, leaks and tears of many materials. The MIT engineers have even developed one for one surgical use. The patch is both strong, flexible and biocompatible. In addition, its application on fabrics is practical and fast. Thanks to its characteristics, it can be used as reinforcement or alternative to surgical sutures.
Work on this invention was co-directed by Hyunwoo Yuk, a researcher in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, and his colleagues. His team notably published the results of their study in the journal Science Translational Medicine. According to Xuanhe Zhao, one of the co-authors, their research could bring a solution to an important problem.
Zhao mainly talks about million operations each year in the world concerning gastrointestinal defects. Surgical procedures that have a leak rate can go up to 20%a leak that can lead to sepsis.
An adhesive tape biocompatible with human cells
Hyunwoo Yuk team’s invention is similar to adhesive tapes classics. It has a sticky side and a smooth side. Nevertheless, the constitution and the use are different. His group’s adhesive patch is mainly used to repair defects in the gastrointestinal tract.
During their experiments, the engineers proved the effectiveness of their creation. Concretely, she sticks easily to large tears and perforations in the colon, stomach and intestines. However, it should be noted that the patients were animals, like pigs and rats. However, they tested the ribbon biocompatibility with a culture of human epithelial cells.
A kind of second tissue to patch tissues and organs
In practice, the adhesive side of the patch binds tightly to tissues in seconds and stays in place for over a month. In fact, the ribbon gradually degrades after a while, and that, without causing inflammation. Therefore, the subject has enough time to heal, without forgetting that the risk of complication is low. Moreover, the tool is also capable of expand and contract according to the functioning of the organ thanks to its flexibility.
Because of all its characteristics, the researchers believe that this surgical tape will one day have a role to play in surgical procedures.
“We think this surgical tape is a good base technology to turn into an actual, commercially available product. […] Surgeons could use it like they use duct tape in the non-surgical world. It does not require any preparation or prior step. Just take it out, open it and use it. »