Snake venom is expected to be the skin glue that closes life-threatening wounds
Scientists and international collaborators at the University of Western London in Ontario have found a way to use the clotting properties of South American snake venom as a skin glue. They say this glue is very effective and can prevent life-threatening bleeding within one minute.
This work also involves the University of Manitoba and the Army Medical University in Chongqing, China. It studied the potential healing properties of an enzyme (called batroxobin or reptilase) contained in the venom of the pipe viper.
The results of the study were published in the journal “Science Advances” on Thursday.
Kibret Mequanint, a biological engineer at Western University, told CBC Radio Drive in the afternoon Moderator Chris dela Torre said that scientists have managed to use an enzyme to make the venom of a viper deadly and flip it onto the head.
“We said,’What if we turn it around and use it as a treatment tool?’ Look, here we are.”
Mequanint said that by using the coagulation effect of the enzyme in gelatin, an international team of scientists designed a skin glue that can be packaged in a small tube.
At the scene, medical staff can squeeze the tube into the wound and irradiate the gel with a laser pointer or a smartphone flashlight to activate the enzyme. After a few seconds, the gel will become a liquid suture. Potential life-saving applications.
“All you need to do is squeeze this gel from a small bottle onto the tissue, and then glow, forming a very tough, very adhesive tissue adhesive that can stop bleeding in about 45 seconds.”
The unique venom of the pipette tip
in a Published by the University of Manitoba, One of the researchers, Malcolm Xing, said that it was his own childhood experience that inspired him to study the characteristics of snake venom.
“When I was a child, I saw the venom of a viper quickly clot the blood,” the press release quoted Xing as saying. “This scene has troubled me for years. Then one day [two years ago], I thought, “Why not consider enzymes extracted from snake venom for efficient hemostasis.” I called my collaborator to discuss this possibility. Then we used this enzyme to develop a visible light-triggered gelatin gel. I am proud that this development may have great potential to save people’s lives. ”
The press release pointed out that failure to stop bleeding during trauma and surgery can significantly increase mortality.
“This promising discovery aims to improve wound healing time through bioadhesion, which is inspired by the active blood clotting of the venomous snake venom.”
In the case of severe bleeding, 45 seconds is a matter of life and death.-Grow Mequanint, Researcher at Western University
The researchers also explained why they used pipe snakes in their work.
“Snakehead venom is different from other snake venoms because they kill prey by thinning the blood or causing toxic neurological symptoms,” the University of Manitoba reported.
“The venom of this snake is lethal because the blood coagulates when it enters the blood. Although most people’s bodies can prevent serious blood loss caused by minor injuries through the body’s coagulation mechanism, in severe cases, the same ability Is not enough. Or life-threatening injury.”
The tissue glue made by the researchers is resistant to blood erosion. Its bonding strength is 10 times that of fibrin glue, and its sealing speed is twice that of fibrin glue, which is traditionally used by surgeons to fuse tissues together.
“In the case of severe bleeding, 45 seconds is a matter of life and death,” Mequanint said.
The bioengineer said that the next phase of research will involve the study of enzyme gels in a clinical environment, and the commercial production and widespread use of the product will be realized in the next five years.