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Sticky stitches.

Next time you come close to "Krazy-gluing" your fingers together, think about this: You might someday be glad to have super-bonding glue brushed on your skin. By your doctor, that is.

Physicians may soon use a harmless relative of Krazy Glue to seal wounds instead of stitches. (Krazy Glue is toxic, so don't try to patch cuts at home!)

In the tube, medical glue is a liquid made up of monomers (small molecules). When the glue touches your skin, the monomers bond to become polymers (long chains of monomers). That forms a solid yet flexible coating that holds torn skin together.

To seal wounds, doctors gently squeeze together the edges of the cut and "paint" glue across the skin's surface. The coating acts much lie a scab. "It protects the tissues underneath while skin cells multiply to heal the cute says surgeon Jennifer Maw, who has tested the glue on her patients.

The glue also keeps out water, which can carry bacteria and infect the wound. Eventually, the glue wears away as dead skin cells slough off.

Similar medical glues have been used in Canada and other countries for years, but they were either too weak or toxic. The new formula is waiting for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The glue can't be used on body parts that move a lot, like knuckles and elbows. But doctors say that within the next few years the glue could replace stitches in one-third of treated wounds.
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Title Annotation:glue developed that can be used instead of sutures to close wounds
Author:Allen, Laura
Publication:Science World
Date:Oct 6, 1997
Words:248
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