Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a hydrogel tape that can tightly seal tears in the lungs and intestines in a few seconds, or attach implants to organ surfaces such as the heart. Development information published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

A year ago, engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a double-sided adhesive that can quickly and firmly adhere to wet surfaces. Now the “glue” has been improved so that it can be separated from the main fabric without causing any harm. A new version of the material can be cleaned or removed from the body altogether, if necessary during the operation or after recovery.

It looks like a painless patch for internal organs. You apply glue, and if for some reason you want to remove it, you can do it on demand, without pain.

Xuanhe Zhao, professor of mechanical engineering and civil and environmental engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

To circumvent the natural slippery of the fabric, a team of engineers developed its original adhesive from biocompatible polymers, in particular polyacrylic acid, highly absorbent materials, commonly used in diapers and pharmaceuticals that absorb water and then quickly form weak hydrogen bonds with the surface of the fabric. To strengthen these bonds, the researchers introduced NHS esters into the material, chemical groups that form stronger and longer bonds with proteins on the surface of the tissue.

The new development was tested on the internal organs of a pig: on the heart, lungs, and intestines. Scientists hope that someday dispensers with the glue they invented will appear in the operating rooms.