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New Snake Venom-derived Glue Stops Bleeding in Seconds

Published on 2021-07-20. Edited By : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Sealants      Sustainability / Natural Adhesives    

New Snake Venom-derived Body Tissue ‘Super Glue’ Stops Bleeding in SecondsKibret Mequanint, a Western University bioengineer and his collaborators have developed a body tissue ‘super glue’ derived from snake venom that can stop life-threatening bleeding in seconds.

Mequanint has developed several biomaterials-based medical devices and therapeutic technologies – some of which are either licensed to medical companies or are in the advanced stage of preclinical testing.

Sealant Based on Blood Clotting Enzyme


His latest collaborative research discovery is based on a blood clotting enzyme called reptilase or batroxobin found in the venom of lancehead snakes (Bothrops atrox), which are amongst the most poisonous snakes in South America.

Taking advantage of this clotting property, Mequanint and the research team designed a body tissue adhesive that incorporates the special enzyme into a modified gelatin that can be packaged into a small tube for easy, and potentially lifesaving, application.

During trauma, injury and emergency bleeding, this ‘super glue’ can be applied by simply squeezing the tube and shining a visible light, such as a laser pointer, over it for few seconds. Even a smartphone flashlight will do the job,” said Mequanint, a Western engineering professor.

Super-sealant Tested for Severely Injured Livers


Compared to clinical fibrin glue, considered the industry gold standard for clinical and field surgeons, the new tissue sealant has 10 times the adhesive strength to resist detachment or washout due to bleeding. The blood clotting time is also much shorter, cutting it in half from 90 seconds for fibrin glue to 45 seconds for the new snake venom ‘super glue.’

This new biotechnology translates to less blood loss and more lifesaving. The super-sealant was tested in models for deep skin cuts, ruptured aortae, and severely injured livers – all considered as major bleeding situations.

We envision that this tissue ‘super glue’ will be used in saving lives on the battlefield, or other accidental traumas like car crashes,” said Mequanint. “The applicator easily fits in first aid kits too.”

In addition, the new snake venom ‘super glue’ can be used for suture-free, surgical wound closures.

For the discovery, Mequanint collaborated with bioengineers, scientists and medical practitioners at the University of Manitoba and Army Medical University in Chongqing, China.

The next phase of study which is underway is to translate the tissue ‘super glue’ discovery to the clinic,” said Mequanint.


Source: Western University
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