Medical Science Current Affairs

Scientists develop Bio-glue for wound healing

Scientists have developed a super strong, flexible Bio-glue for wound healing without causing toxicity. It has been inspired by an adhesive material (glue) secreted by slugs that sticks to biological tissues

Slugs naturally secrete a special kind of mucus (adhesive material) in its place when threatened, making it difficult for a predator to pry it off its surface.

Key Facts

The bio-glue is double-layered hydrogel consisting of an alginate-polyacrylamide matrix supporting an adhesive layer that has positively-charged polymers protruding from its surface. It bonds to biological tissues via three mechanisms – electrostatic attraction to covalent bonds between neighbouring atoms, negatively charged cell surfaces and physical interpenetration.

This bond makes the adhesive super strong. It is the combination of a very strong adhesive force and has ability to transfer and dissipate stress. It can bind to tissues with strength comparable to the body’s own resilient cartilage.

Applications: The bio-glue has numerous potential applications in the medical field, either as a patch that can be cut to desired sizes and applied to tissue surfaces or can be also used as an injectable solution for deeper injuries.

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Scientists use ‘pregnancy fluid’ to strengthen weak bones

UK-based researchers have found that stem cells harvested from pregnant woman’s amniotic fluid can be used to strengthen weak bones.

Amniotic fluid is the protective fluid that surrounds baby in the uterus and helps it to develop inside the mother’s womb. It also contains stem cells that are the building blocks of other tissues.

Key Facts
  • Bones are constantly formed in body with cells called osteoclasts which break down old bone and form new bones.
  • However, incase due to brittle bone disease, osteoporosis process becomes lazy leading to fracture bones.
  • The researchers collected the amniotic stem cells from material left over from screening tests during pregnancy.
  • Then they injected these cells into diseased mice having fractured bones due to brittle bone disease (a genetic disorder that results in fragile bones that break easily).
  • It was found that mice injected with these cells have 78% fewer fractures. Thus, the amniotic stem cells can be used to improve strength, plasticity, and structure of bones.
  • Potential Application: This discovery can help treat astronauts who lose bone mass in space. It is said that astronauts can lose 2.5% of their bone density for every month in space. It can also help babies with genetic diseases and elderly people.

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