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Medicine Biotech

Mending Hearts With Light-Activated Glue 38

Posted by Soulskill
from the only-if-you're-out-of-duct-tape dept.
the_newsbeagle writes "When surgeons set out to repair holes in the walls of the heart's chambers or in blood vessels, they often do invasive open-heart surgery and use sutures, staples, and glue to keep a patch in place. But the sutures and staples are a rough fix, and many of the glues on the market today don't work well on wet tissue that's continually flexed by the heart's contractions and the movement of pumping blood. Today biomaterial researchers announced a new light-activated glue that could make surgery less invasive, quicker, and easier. The adhesive was inspired by slugs' and sandcastle worms' sticky secretions, which work underwater, and it can be applied with slender tools during minimally invasive surgery. A flash of UV light then sets the glue, which bends and flexes with the tissue."
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Mending Hearts With Light-Activated Glue

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  • by cold fjord (826450) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @06:07PM (#45901937)

    Light-activated resin [wikipedia.org]

  • by bob_super (3391281) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @06:11PM (#45901981)

    "I'm the world's leading researcher in the field of slugs' and sandcastle worms' "
    just got replaced by:
    "My research is used by heart surgeons to save lives and ease recovery"

    Yep, someone's life just got a lot easier at parties...

    • by Cryacin (657549)

      Yep, someone's life just got a lot easier at parties...

      Be still my beating heart attack.

    • by Krishnoid (984597)
      Or even better, "I'm scientifically helping people mend their broken hearts."
    • Please. You don't say you research sandcastle worms. You say you do research on Phragmatopoma californica. Why else do you think they invented binomial nomenclature?

      • "Oh, cool. So, what does that mean in English?"

        That's the answer you'll get from a surprisingly large number of people if you're involved in research and try to dazzle them with technical jargon, thus defeating the whole purpose of trying to use that jargon in the first place. People generally aren't afraid to admit that they don't know something that they really have no reason to know. It's only when they feel like they should know something that they become self-conscious about not knowing it.

        Besides whic

        • But, the kind of people who ask that question will probably also be the kind of person who can see why researching slugs is useful. There's a lot of people who will switch off their brains the instant they hear a word they don't understand, which are usually the kind of people who'll think less of you for researching slugs.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          "Oh, cool. So, what does that mean in English?" That's the answer you'll get from a surprisingly large number of people if you're involved in research and try to dazzle them with technical jargon

          That's not the reaction I get. If I'm talking to one person it's a dumb look and "Uh, OK." If there are two people one will turn and say "did you understand a word of that?" and the other will shake his head. The worst part is that they're asking me questions about their own computers.

    • Yeah, but the type of guy or girl who is more interested in slugs and worms than heart surgery is probably more interesting in the sack, so it's kind of a wash.
    • Hah, you're just jealous that you don't have any bright ideas of your own.
    • by ignavus (213578)

      "I'm the world's leading researcher in the field of slugs' and sandcastle worms' "
      just got replaced by:
      "My research is used by heart surgeons to save lives and ease recovery"

      Yep, someone's life just got a lot easier at parties...

      I dunno. I'm sure the slug and sandcastle worm guy would be a greater hit at some parties. Little kids love slugs and worms.

  • Weird science (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bob_super (3391281) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @06:13PM (#45901995)

    Remember that one the next time some politician promises to defund some oddball research because "who cares about slugs, worms or jellyfish".

    • After Jindal mocked volcano research, then a volcano erupted, I'm guessing all politicians realized they shouldnt' do such things.

      I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry at my joke there...
      • Re:Weird science (Score:5, Informative)

        by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @08:10PM (#45902951)

        One would think, but no. The prime wrong-doer in this case is Sen. Tom Coburn, of "shrimp on treadmills" mischaracterization infamy. NPR did a story on this recently. [npr.org]

        It appears that Coburn knowingly omits context that would put these research projects in a much different light. Coburn is a prime example of politicians who appear to put politics above governance. He truly makes me wish there was a law which would put a bullet in any Congressman who made sophistic arguments in the course of deliberation.

  • by wcrowe (94389) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @06:17PM (#45902023)

    I cracked a tooth and got a crown a couple of years ago, and this is how the crown was attached, using a light-activated adhesive.

    • by Imagix (695350)
      Yes, but your teeth don't flex like your heart muscle does...
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      UV set resins have been around for a long time. This new one seems particularly good for adhering to flexing and wet human tissues. It's the same basic concept as the one used on your teeth but specially tailored for a different application.

  • Burrowing in shallow water. And affection for images of staws.
  • > and many of the glues on the market today don't work well on wet tissue that's continually flexed by the heart's contractions and the movement of pumping blood.

    What's the point of saying that, unless 'many' means 'all'? Just use the ones that *do* work well.

  • by The Grim Reefer (1162755) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @08:16PM (#45903015)

    When surgeons set out to repair holes in the walls of the heart's chambers or in blood vessels,

    There are already transcatheter VSD/ASD occulders [google.com] that are minimally invasive (considering)and fairly well proven. They are used all the time to repair congenital defects. I am assuming that they are talking about repairing ventricular septal defects, or atrial.septal defects Since a hole in the free wall of the heart is going to kill you pretty damn fast, and will generally be caused by some type of trauma. In which case you probably have to have foreign material removed as well. I'm not as familiar with what is available for vascular repair once it's ruptured, so this sounds pretty cool. It looks like it may be more elegant than an occulder, but the images show a clamp being used. So using this, for now, means cracking the chest open. I'd say that going into the cath lab for a ASD/VSD repair is still a better option. But if they can shrink this down to the point they can fish this stuff up through the femoral artery, it will be very cool indeed.

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