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Scientists Create Superglue from Snake Venom That Can Stop Blood Loss, Prevent Death

The lancehead snakes are endemic to the northern portion of South America and is one of the most venomous reptiles in the world. (Image for representation/Shutterstock)

The lancehead snakes are endemic to the northern portion of South America and is one of the most venomous reptiles in the world. (Image for representation/Shutterstock)

This ‘super glue' may be applied after trauma, injury, and critical bleeding by merely squeezing the tubes and flashing a visible light over it.

Death through blood loss is fairly common around the world. Whether patients get impaled or struck by an object, if proper medical care is not provided, the victim often dies. This has now changed as a group of scientists from Western University in Canada have created a sort of super-glue that works as an adhesive sticking to the victim’s tissue and can be used to prevent life-threatening bleeding.

This adhesive is made from the venom found in lancehead snakes and uses the blood-clotting enzyme known as reptilase or batroxobin. This enzyme is then linked to modified gelatin, which may be placed in a tiny tube for a possibly life-saving breakthrough. This ‘super glue’ may be applied after trauma, injury, and critical bleeding by merely squeezing the tubes and flashing a visible light, including a laser pointer, over it for a few seconds. A smartphone flashlight, rather than a laser, will be enough to save a person’s life.

According to Daily Mail, lancehead snakes are endemic to the northern portion of South America and is one of the most venomous reptiles in the world. They may grow to be from 30 to 50 inches long as adults, and they have been reported to hunt for food in coffee and banana fields, biting workers without notice. Their venom yield averages 124 milligrams, but it can reach 342 milligrams.

This new sealant has ten times the strength properties of medical fibrin glue, which is the “industry gold standard" for surgeons in clinics and on the operating table.

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The researchers also discovered that the time it takes for blood to clot is much less than the time it takes for fibrin glue to clot, clocking in at 45 seconds vs 90 seconds for fibrin. Blood clotting took an average of five to six minutes without any of the hemostatic adhesive (HAD). This should result in much-reduced blood loss and, as a result, more lives are saved.

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first published:July 16, 2021, 21:24 IST