Portuguese scientists discover cure for ‘broken hearts’

A ground-breaking, blood-resistant surgical glue which allows for easier reparation of cardiovascular anomalies has been created by a group involving two Portuguese scientists – Maria José Pereira and Lino Ferreira.
“When the adhesive is applied on the walls of a beating heart, they remain firmly placed despite the strong pressure that the blood applies on the heart and its blood vessels,” Maria José Pereira told the Science Translational Medicine magazine.
With a PhD in bioengineering, Pereira worked on the project with Lino Ferreira, from the Portuguese Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, and a number of other international researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
The glue gives scientists new hope for a number of complicated heart surgery procedures. It sticks well to wet tissue, repels blood and water, and is strong enough to bind major blood vessels even when they are pumping – but so far it has only been used on animals.
The light-activated glue could also allow surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgeries, making healing times faster and decreasing the risk of infections.
The method is expected to be tested soon as an agent to seal holes created by sutures during cardiac surgery.
This is the first and safest place to begin to test the glue in patients because the adhesive will not be holding the vessels together, said the scientists.