LightSensitive Adhesive Tech Could Revolutionize BandAids

first_imgStay on target Bioinspired Bandage Reacts to Body Heat, Accelerates HealingSuperglue-Style Hydrogel Could Help Eliminate Joint Pain Pulling off a Band-Aid is one of the most cringe-inducing facts of life (second only to stepping barefoot on a rogue LEGO).But researchers at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China have a solution.The international team developed a new type of adhesive that is easily detached with a specific frequency of light.“Strong adhesion usually requires covalent bonds, physical interactions, or a combination of both,” Yang Gao, first study author and researcher at Xi’an Jiaotong University, said in a statement.“Adhesion through covalent bonds is hard to remove and adhesion through physical interactions usually requires solvents, which can be time-consuming and environmentally harmful,” he explained. “Our method of using light to trigger detachment is non-invasive and painless.”I’m in.The glue uses an aqueous solution of polymer chains to stitch together two non-sticky materials (“like jam between two slices of bread,” SEAS described). This process is known as topological entanglement.On their own, the two hydrogels don’t come apart easily; you can basically hear the components screaming in pain.Point some UV light their way, though, and they separate as smoothly as a Kenny G refrain.The stitching polymer, which also detaches with near-infrared light, could be used for wound dressings, transdermal drug delivery devices, and wearable robots, among other medical procedures.“In nature, wet material don’t like to adhere together,” Zhigang Suo, professor of mechanics and materials at SEAS, said. “We have discovered a general approach to overcome this challenge.“Our molecular sutures can strongly adhere wet materials together,” he continued. “Furthermore, the strong adhesion can be made permanent, transient, or detachable on demand, in response to a cue. So, as we see it, nature is full of loopholes, waiting to be stitched.”Full results were published in the journal Advanced Materials.More on Hydrogel Could Help Eliminate Joint PainSea Creatures Inspire Researchers to Create Formaldehyde-Free GlueNew Super Glue Could Help Us Make Squishy Batteries and Electronicslast_img