Magazine article USA TODAY

Dissolvable Gel Seals and Unseals Quickly

Magazine article USA TODAY

Dissolvable Gel Seals and Unseals Quickly

Article excerpt

In first-aid situations, wounds must be closed quickly and effectively to stop blood loss and prevent infection. For treatment on arrival in a hospital, the temporary seal must be reopened, which often causes additional damage to the injured tissue. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, scientists have introduced a novel gel for sealing wounds, and it later can be dissolved and removed gently.

Injuries sustained in remote areas, far from civilization, or in military action often cannot be treated in a clinic until hours later. In such scenarios, a temporary wound closure system is desirable. Such a system should stop the bleeding for several hours; adhere to the tissue; be simple to apply; and be easily removable in a controlled manner to make the wound accessible during surgical treatment. No single wound-closure systems currently available meet all of these requirements. Removal of blood-clotting agents or dressings requires tearing or surgical excision, both of which can increase the size of the wound and make it worse.

Scientists working at Boston (Mass.) University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have developed a wound-closure system based on a synthetic biocompatible gel that meets these requirements. …

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