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🩺 Health

Snake venom shows promise as skin glue for closing life-threatening wounds

سم ثعبان يصنع غراءً يوقف النزيف خلال ثوانٍ

News Agencies

Scientists at Western University in London, Ont., and international collaborators have found a way to harness the blood-clotting properties of venom from a South American snake as a type of skin glue that they say is so effective, it could stop life-threatening bleeding within a minute.

The work also involves the University of Manitoba and the Army Medical University in Chongqing, China. It looks at the potential healing properties of an enzyme contained in the venom of the lancehead pit viper, known as batroxobin or reptilase.

The findings were published Thursday in the journal Science Advances.

Kibret Mequanint, a bioengineer at Western University, told CBC Radio’s Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre that scientists have managed to use an enzyme that makes the viper’s venom deadly and flip it on its head. 

“Some venoms kill by thinning blood and others kill by affecting the neurological system,” he said. “Reptilase is an enzyme known to induce blood clotting.

“We said, ‘What happens if we turn it around and use this as a therapeutic tool?’ And lo and behold, here we are.”

By using the blood-clotting effect of the enzyme in a gelatin, Mequanint said, the international team of scientists has designed a type of skin glue that can be packaged inside a small tube. 

In the field, medical personnel can then squeeze the tube into a wound, shine a light on the gel to activate the enzyme with a laser pointer or smartphone flashlight, and in a few seconds, the gel will transform into a form of liquid stitches with potential life-saving applications. 

“All you need to do is squeeze this gel from a small bottle to the tissue and shine a light to form a very tough and very strongly bonded tissue adhesive that stops major bleeding in about 45 seconds.” 


تورونتو: ابتكرت مجموعة من العلماء، في جامعة ويسترن في كندا، نوعًا من المادة اللاصقة «الغراء الفائق» التي تلتصق بأنسجة الجسم ويمكن استخدامها لمنع حدوث نزيف يُهدّد الحياة. وتستخدم المادة اللاصقة إنزيم تخثر الدم المعروف باسم reptilase أو batroxobin، الموجود في سم ثعابين lancehead.

ثم يتشابك هذا الإنزيم مع جيلاتين مُعدل يمكن وضعه في أنبوب صغير لتحقيق تقدم محتمل مُنقذ للحياة. وقال أستاذ الهندسة في جامعة ويسترن، كيبري ماكيوننت، وزملاؤه في الدراسة في بيان: «أثناء الصدمة والإصابة ونزيف الطوارئ، يمكن تطبيق هذا «الغراء الفائق» ببساطة عن طريق الضغط على الأنبوب وإلقاء ضوء مرئي، مثل مؤشر الليزر، فوقه لبضع ثوانٍ. وحتى مصباح الهاتف الذكي سيقوم بهذه المهمة».

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