Scientists say that the mucus secreted by slugs is an inspiration in the development of a new adhesive type that can potentially affect the medical field.

Experts call it the “Bio-glue.” Based on earlier studies, the glue is very strong. Also, it can move with the body’s basic movements, and it even has the capability to adhere to wet surfaces.

Slug mucus

In an experiment, researchers from the Harvard University used the substance to seal an existing hole in a pig’s heart. Because of the success of the experiment, many scientists say that it could lead to high demands of the bio-glue in the future.

This is mainly because of its adhesive property that enables it to stick to wet surfaces.

Sticking something to semi-wet or wet surfaces is a challenge to the medical community ever since. But this bio-glue is about to change that.

Slugs are known to produce mucus as a form of self-defense against predators. Researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering used “Dusky Arion” slug to study the properties of the mucus.

Mucus experiment

Dr. Jianyu Li, one of the researchers, said that the engineered material based on the key properties of a slug mucus yield positive result. The innovative bio-glue has two main purposes – to be an adhesive and to be a biochemical “shock absorber.”

The bio-glue also has a good level of stickiness due to the attraction of positively charged glue to the negatively charged cells in the human body. Also, the bond between atoms in the cells and the glue adds to the stickiness.

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The way the glue penetrates the surface of the tissue is another added factor.

But what makes it more interesting is the added biochemical shock-absorbing property. Experts say it can absorb the physical strain and stress making the adhesive stick longer.

The recent experiment was published in the journal Science. The new innovative bio-glue is a promising product mainly because it is considered as non-toxic to the human body and promises to be three times stronger than the usual adhesives available in the market today.

According to BBC, Dr. Li said that the product solved a big challenge in the medical field and it could open big opportunities mainly because the application of the product is very broad. The material known to be very strong, sticky, stretchy and non-toxic would work well in many applications including adhesives for the lungs and the heart.

At the same time, the bio-glue can be administered in various ways. The researchers say that it can be used as a patch of as an injectable liquid in deep wounds inside the body.