Scientists create a double sticky tape inspired by spiders

Team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have designed a double-sided tape which sticks to the body tissue after surgery. Sources allege the tape has been inspired by the process of how spiders exude glue in order to catch their prey in the rain.

For the research, scientists allegedly studied the way spiders’ secretion absorbed water in order to secure their next meal. The latest sticky tape also performs in the same manner and allegedly works within seconds, as proven by results during tests on pig skin and lungs.

Reports allege, one more research could further help the tape’s application in place of sutures. However, the team is still several years away from trials on humans.

This is mainly because getting tissues in the body to form a tight seal can be challenging since water on the surface makes it slippery. Furthermore, sutures and stitches which help in holding a wound together does not always work well, claims scientists. It can further also cause pain and infection.

In addition, tissue glues which already exist also need several minutes to work and further risks dripping on other parts of the body.

Spiders are known to secrete a sticky material which contains polysaccharides. This absorbs water from the surface of an insect almost instantly, by thus leaving a small dry patch which can be used as a glue to stick to.

The team of researchers have similarly used polyacrylic acid on the tap which can further absorb water from a wet body tissue and activate the glue in order to stick fast. By adding chitosan or even gelatin helps to keep the tape its shape for a couple of days or even for a month, depending upon how long it requires to last.

Study author Hyunwoo Yuk commented on the research: “It’s very challenging to suture soft or fragile tissues such as the lung and trachea – but with our double-sided tape, within five seconds we can easily seal them.”

The team has tested the tape on different types of pig and rat tissues, including small intestine, liver, stomach and skin. More tests on animals will be performed in the future, sources allege. The tape can also be used to stick medical devices to organs such as heart “without causing damage or secondary complications from puncturing tissue”.