Thursday, August 22, 2013

Slug glue--coming to an OR near you


When you get stitches or sutures to sew a wound shut--it is basically a fastener. Fasteners are changing.

I remember when I first got staples. And they pulled them with the same staple puller I had on my desk. Well, why not?

Now, in the 21st century, gels and glues are being used.

Among them--glue made from the stubborn slime of slugs--ever tried to get that off your flagstones?

This is the stuff that allows mollusks to stay on wave-battered rocks or resist hungry birds who would love to pry them off for dinner.

But--adhesives usually will fail when soaked with goo--but sutures and staples also fail. Some sutures are even made to dissolve.

Adhesives are best when cuts are clean and not too deep. They are flexible.

Such gels are a dilute, tangled network of polymers--neither a solid nor a fluid.

In these experiments--slugs are sort of "milked," then returned to the trails where they were found.

Slug wrangler--keep that in mind if you are looking for a job.

Also--Super Glue--I know people who love that for sealing those painful heel cracks.

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