Flatworm (Phylum platyhelminthes). (Credit: McGill University)

Drawing inspiration from nature, researchers have developed a medical adhesive that could save lives, modeled after structures found in marine animals like mussels and flatworms.

When applied to the bleeding site, the adhesive uses suction to absorb blood, clear the surface for adhesion, and bond to the tissue providing a physical seal. The entire application process is quick and pressure-free, which is suitable for non-compressible hemorrhage situations.

In putting the new technology to the test, the researchers found that the adhesive promotes blood coagulation. The adhesive can also be removed without causing re-bleeding or even left inside the body to be absorbed.

The material showed much better-improved safety and bleeding control efficiency than other commercial products. Beyond bleeding control, the researchers say the material could one day replace wound sutures or deliver drugs to provide therapeutic effects.