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S. Korean scientists use mussel adhesive protein to connect severed nerve segments
South Korean scientists have developed a method using mussel adhesive protein to connect severed nerve ends without the need to use suture threads.
A joint research team from Pohang University of Science and Technology, Ewha Woman's University, and the Catholic University of Korea Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital announced that it had developed a hydrogel adhesive for medical use based on mussel adhesive protein.
Nerves are one of the more difficult tissues to replicate. As a result, when they are cut, the only option to rejoin them is to carefully sew them together with suture threads.
This approach, however, necessitates a high level of medical expertise and takes a long time. Furthermore, there is a possibility that the secondary injury induced by suture thread penetration will impede nerve cell proliferation.
The researchers aimed to address these issues by transforming mussel adhesive protein into a jelly-like photo-crosslinking hydrogel adhesive.
The protein secreted by mussels to adhere to the moist surfaces of solid rocks is known as mussel adhesive protein.
When not exposed to light, this adhesive lives as a liquid. When exposed to visible light, it rapidly transforms into a hydrogel with sticky properties.
The use of this glue to connect severed nerve segments helps to avoid further injury and minimize immunological inflammation.