7 Healthcast: Gecko bandage
"I was talking to a colleague and I noticed on their desk that they had this research paper describing how geckos are able to adhere to walls and you know described the mechanisms, and that's when I thought well maybe we could apply this aspect to the development of these biomedical adhesives," said researcher Dr. Jeffrey Karp.
So that's exactly what they did.
Dr. Karp says the bandages the tiny hills and valleys on a gecko's feet and adhere well to wet surfaces.
He says they will save time in the operating room and prevent complications, like leaks, that sometimes happen with staples or stitches.
"We think if we just designed a tape based system that we can wrap around the suture site or the staple site that we can prevent some of these leaks and significantly reduce the complications rates," Dr. Karp said.
So far the bandages have been tested on animals, but Dr. Karp isn't ruling out other possibilities.
"I'm not sure if you'll see people walking around with these gecko band aids but it is very possible because they offer the ability of strong adhesion under wet conditions," he said.
Researchers say the bandages will be especially useful in procedures like gastric bypass surgery.
They hope to start clinical trials in humans within the next few years.(Copyright 2008 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)