Mimicking an adhesive naturally produced by marine worms, researchers have created a new glue that may help surgeons reconstruct shattered bone, they reported today (August 17) at the linkurl:American Chemical Society (ACS) 238th National Meeting;http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_TRANSITIONMAIN&node_id=2053 in Washington, DC.
Sandcastle worm
Image: Russell Stewart
"It's a wonderful advance," said biophysicist linkurl:Bob Baier;http://www.sdm.buffalo.edu/home.asp?id=554 of the State University of New York at Buffalo, who was not involved in the research. "It's a nice extrapolation from marine science to orthopedics." The sandcastle worm builds its tubular home out of sand and broken shells, which it glues together piece by piece with a protein-based cement. The most impressive part of the process: It's done entirely underwater. Bioengineer linkurl:Russell Stewart;http://www.bioen.utah.edu/directory/profile.php?userID=91 and his colleagues at the University of Utah are studying the adhesive in hopes of creating a synthetic glue that could be used to reassemble the small fragments of bone that result from complex breaks that...

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