Photochemical Tissue Bonding: a light touch for battlefield injuries

File under “new theoretical tech that might end up looking vaguely like something out of Star Trek”: though they don’t provide much detail or any links to such, Gizmag reports briefly on Photochemical Tissue Bonding, which…

… can replace conventional sutures, staples and glues in repairing skin wounds, reconnecting severed peripheral nerves, blood vessels, tendons and incisions in the cornea.

And how does it work?

When treating an injury, a medic applies a dye to the wound, then briefly exposes it to green light. The dye absorbs the light, which helps it to molecularly bond proteins on the tissue surfaces. The result is what the researchers call a nanosuture, and it appears to be superior to conventional methods. “No glues, proteins or other materials are used that might stimulate an inflammatory response,” said Kochevar. “An immediate, water-tight seal is formed between the tissue surfaces leading to reduced inflammation in the near term and better scar formation in the long term.”

Find wound, smear gunge on it, beam light at it. Neat trick… though I expect that superglue and adhesive dressings will remain the cheaper option for some time to come. And neither of them need batteries, either.

I wonder what would happen if you used this on tissue that wasn’t injured, though. The body-mod crowd could do some really weird stuff with this technology once it becomes street-cheap.