Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a medical tape that sticks to wet surfaces such as organs and, more importantly, can be safely removed when it is no longer needed,media reported. Last year, the team developed a new alternative to stitches. The double-sided tape can be used to repair incisions or wounds in organs, works in seconds, and can also be used to attach implantable medical devices to tissues.
However, this is not an easy task. Because ordinary adhesives do not stick well on wet surfaces, the team designed a new type of adhesive. It is understood that this is made from a material called polyacrylic acid, containing a chemical group called NHS esters. The idea is that the material itself absorbs excess liquid and forms a gentle hydrogen bond with the tissue, which then helps to form a stronger bond with the protein on the tissue surface.
Although the bandage sticks well, it has one major problem — it really opens once it’s opened. Tearing it off the skin only causes temporary pain, while tearing off sensitive organs can cause more serious damage.
In the new study, researchers set out to develop a way to remove bandages more safely. To do this, they added a disulfur bond-linked molecule that not only forms strong bonds with tissue proteins, but also releases them when exposed to certain reducing agents.
The team chose a drug called bran glycerides. Not only does it effectively cut off the disulfur bond but it can be found in many cells in the body, so it is safe to use. In addition, the researchers added a handful of ordinary sodas to cut off the hydrogen bond on the bandage.
These substances are mixed into physiological saline and then sprayed onto the body’s bandages. To test this, the researchers experimented with two drugs at different concentrations, spraying them on bandage samples, which are known to be attached to organs such as the pig’s heart, lungs and intestines.
It turned out to be effective, and no matter how long the adhesive has been coated, it can be easily removed in all cases. The process takes about five minutes.
The team also created a version of the tiny channel etched that allows the solution to penetrate, which would be suitable for the medical scenario of implanting the device into the organ. In this case, the surgeon can place it on the edge of the tape.
Next, the researchers hope to use the new tape to repair bleeding and intestinal leaks.