BOSTON, (Xinhua) -- Repairing wounds during surgery can be complicated and often involves sutures or staples. Yet with the development of a surgical "glue," the job can be done in just a minute.
A good surgical sealant needs to be elastic, adhesive, non-toxic and biocompatible, but most sealants on the markets do not possess all these characteristics, according to Nasim Annabi, lead author of the study and a researcher at Northeastern University.
The "glue," dubbed MeTro, is a biocompatible and highly elastic hydrogel sealant made from a human protein that has been modified to react to ultraviolet (UV) light, according to the study published in the medical journal Science Translational Medicine earlier this week.
When researchers apply the glue to a wound and place it under UV light, the wound will be sealed in 60 seconds, said the study.
The glue can seal up wounds without stopping the natural expanding and relaxing of the organ or the skin it's applied to, the study added.
The researchers had successfully tested MeTro on animals by sealing surgical incisions in blood vessels in rats and in lungs in pigs without evidence of leakage or rupture.
Northeastern University reported that Annabi and her colleagues plan to test MeTro over a longer period of time before running clinical trials with humans.
Within three to five years, the glue could be available in hospitals, Annabi told the university.
"The potential applications are powerful, from treating serious internal wounds at emergency sites such as following car accidents and in war zones, as well as improving hospital surgeries," said Anthony Weiss, an author of the study and a researcher at the University of Sydney, in a release published on the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) website.