Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a surgical bandage that mimics the way that gecko feet can adhere to vertical surfaces. The bandage could be used for both applications both outside and inside the body, such as to repair tears, prevent leaks, and replace sutures. The bandage would be a glue-coated polymer, with the glue consisting of hundreds of thousands of nanopillars which provide high surface contact.
The gecko-inspired bandage, a glue-coated polymer, will be stretchy, stick to wet places, will dissolve in the body over time at rates that can be adapted as needed, and could incorporate antibiotics or other drugs.
Geckos are able to climb walls due to forces created by hundreds of thousands of hairs on the surfaces of their toes, with each hair having tiny nanopillars. Learn more about the gecko-inspired adhesive in Tom McKeag's case study, "Sticky Wicket: A Search for an Optimal Adhesive for Surgery," on pages 22-27 of Zygote Quarterly 12: Source for information: Gecko's feet inspire new high-tech bandage.
Current medical glues have very strong levels of adhesion, which are difficult to work with. They are also brittle and can cause an inflammatory response.Edit Summary