Skip to main content

New medical superglue seals large wounds almost instantly, prevents scars

MeTro – A breakthrough medical technology that could save lives
When repairing damaged organs and tissues, surgeons will often use staples or sutures. Skin glue can also sometimes be employed, but this is only for the most superficial of wounds. Until now, that is. That’s because a team of researchers from the U.S. and Australia have developed a new hyperelastic type of surgical superglue, called MeTro, which could be used as an alternative to staples or sutures — minus the scarring risk.

“We have developed a material based on natural proteins that is both sticky and elastic,” Ali Khademhosseini, an associate faculty member at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, told Digital Trends. “The protein is based on elastin, which is normally expressed in elastic tissues in our body, such as lung and vessels, and provides the tissue with mechanical resilience and elasticity. This material can be used in surgical applications to seal incisions, such as in the case of sealing air leaks after resection of lung tumor. Since the material is both strong and elastic, it can be used in applications that previously required sutures. Also the material can degrade as the tissue is formed.”

MeTro has so far been demonstrated in studies with rats, where it was able to help close up incisions in arteries, as well as punctures in lungs. It has additionally been demonstrated in pig lungs, where it was used to seal up wounds even when the lungs were repeatedly inflating and deflating. “We have shown that the material can be used in large animal models,” Khademhosseini continued. “The next step would be to try to develop a clinical trial where it can be used in humans. This would require a significant level of funding and potentially commercial partnership.”

Extrapolated to humans, Khademhosseini said that MeTro could be utilized for closing incisions after surgery. It could also potentially be used to treat serious internal wounds on site in scenarios like major car accidents or war zones.

In addition to Harvard University, other institutions involved in the research included Northeastern University, Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and the University of Sydney in Australia. A paper describing the research was recently published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more