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Medical patch designed for sealing internal injuries

Swatches | Apr. 1, 2021 | By:

Many surgeries today are performed via minimally invasive procedures, in which a small incision is made, and miniature cameras and surgical tools are threaded through the body to remove tumors and repair damaged tissues and organs. However, surgeons face challenges in sealing internal wounds and tears. Taking inspiration from origami, engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have designed a medical patch that can be folded around minimally invasive surgical tools and delivered through airways, intestines and other narrow spaces to patch up internal injuries. The patch resembles a foldable, paper-like film when dry. Once it makes contact with wet tissues or organs, it transforms into a stretchy gel that can stick to an injured site. The tape also resists contamination when exposed to bacteria and bodily fluids. Over time, the patch will safely biodegrade. Photo: Felice Frankel. 

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