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Scientists Develop New Bio-Adhesive Polymer

Scientists working at the University of New South Wales have recently developed a new laser-activated bio-adhesive polymer. The new polymer, known as SurgiLux, is derived from chitin, a substance found in the cell walls of fungi or in the exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans.

Chitin is a component that, when exposed to light, acts in SurgiLux to create low-energy bonds between tissue and the polymer. Technology such as this may soon be used in clinics and medical treatment as a more effective alternative to sutures.

As Dr L. John Foster of the University of New South Wales stated, sutures tend to be invasive and do not support the regeneration of tissue. In contrast, SurgiLux is simply a thin film that does not cause a physical invasion into the tissue, which can be significant when it comes to working in delicate areas.

Furthermore, SurgiLux achieves a uniform seal via exposure to laser, and it has antimicrobial properties by virtue of its chitosan base. These can protect the wound against infection, and reduce the need for excessive bandaging. Ophthalmology is one of the first areas targeted for use of SurgiLux, as sutures are overly invasive for use in the eye.