Advantages Of Tough Adhesives

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A sticky but exciting situation
Imagine running into the accidents and emergency department in a hospital with a deep cut on your arm. The doctor examined it and told you that you have to either stitch up or staple your wounds before infection takes place. You winced. If you have ever gone through the pain of having to do stitching or stapling, you would probably remember it for your life. If you haven’t, trust me, you wouldn’t want to try it. Then, is there a better option? Yes, you are in luck. It has been sometimes since scientists have been looking for a suitable adhesive which works like a magic glue to fix your external and internal injuries. Not only are they less painful for the patient, they are also less damaging to healthy tissues and the procedure would take a much shorter time to perform. Recently, scientists developed a new form of tough adhesive (TA) that works unlike any existing ones.

In existing adhesives, there is usually a trade-off between stickiness and flexibility. Adhesives with similar chemistry to super glue are the strongest type of tissue adhesives, but they are toxic to living cells and do not work on wet surfaces. Also, they solidify immediately upon contact with water, forming very rigid plastics that restrict
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But it has an extraordinary ability; when it is scared, it produces a defensive slug slime that allows it to stick itself onto wet surfaces. As you probably know, when we are scared, we enter into fight-or-flight mode. As for the slug, when it gets frightened by, say, a bird, it secretes a sticky mucus from its skin. The mucus is so adhesive that it might prevent the bird from pulling it off a leaf— just like how a persistent chewing gum would refuse to leave the bottom of your shoe. This mucus inspired the material scientists from Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering to design the new form of

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