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Lizards inspire new bandage

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US researchers have developed a surgical adhesive bandage inspired by geckos.

They said the tissue adhesive, made from a biodegradable polymer that mimics the skin on gecko feet, had potential for sealing wounds and replacing sutures or staples.

The surface of the bandage has the same kind of nanoscale hills and valleys that allow the lizards to cling to walls and ceilings. Layered over this landscape is a thin coating of glue that helps the bandage stick in wet environments, such as to heart, bladder or lung tissue. And because the bandage is biodegradable, it dissolves over time and does not have to be removed.

‘There is a significant medical need for tough biodegradable polymer adhesives that can adapt to or recover from various mechanical deformations while remaining strongly attached to the underlying tissue,’ the researchers said.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2008) 105: 2307-2312

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