Image of double-sided adhesive
MIT graduate students devised a double-sided adhesive that can be used to seal tissues together. (Image: Felice Frankel, Christine Daniloff, MIT)

Inspired by a sticky substance that spiders use to catch their prey, a double-sided tape was developed that can rapidly seal tissues together within five seconds. The tape works much faster than tissue glues, which usually take several minutes to bind tightly and can drip onto other parts of the body.

The material absorbs water from wet tissues and then rapidly binds two tissues together. For water absorption, they used polyacrylic acid, a very absorbent material used in diapers. This type of adhesive could have an impact on surgeons’ ability to seal incisions and heal wounds.