Bandage that can repair internal injuries without the need for stitches or staples!
The science that allows a gecko to cling to a ceiling has been harnessed for use in medicine. Inspired by the sticky pads on the lizard’s toes, Professor Robert Langer and Dr Jeff Karp of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston have invented a bandage that can repair internal injuries without the need for stitches or staples. After a few weeks, the bandage dissolves, leaving the wound repaired. The surface of the bandage has the same kind of microscopic hills and valleys that help give gecko feet their uniquely adhesive properties. Layered over this is a thin coating of glue that helps it stick to wet surfaces – including heart, bladder or lung tissue.
Because the bandage can be folded into a small parcel and then unfolded, it can be used in keyhole surgery where conventional stitches are difficult. It is only in the last few years that scientists have found out how the millions of hairs on the feet of a gecko allow it to stick to surfaces. The discovery has led to a string of inventions – including new types of sticky notes and tapes. The bandage has been successfully tested on animals.