HLAA sets in just five seconds, once it's exposed to an ultraviolet light source
Applying a biodegradable patch to a heart defect, using HLAA
A close look at how the collagen in the heart tissue bonds with HLAA (Image: Pedro del Nido, Boston Children's Hospital)
HLAA sets to an elastic consistency, and bonds with cardiac tissue
A hole in the heart is never a good thing, so when an infant is born with such a defect, doctors have to act quickly to fix it. Unfortunately, both sutures and staples can damage the heart tissue, plus it takes too long to apply sutures. Existing surgical adhesives have their own drawbacks in that they can be toxic, and they typically become unstuck in wet, dynamic environments such as the heart. As a result, infants often require subsequent operations to "replug" the hole. Now, however, scientists have developed a sort of superglue for the heart, that quickly and securely bonds patches to holes.
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