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Mistletoe produces a ‘gluey’ thread that may seal wounds for DAYS

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While mistletoe could also be related to holiday kisses, the Celtic Druids believed the plant had lifesaving powers  – and scientists have confirmed this theory greater than 2,000 years later.

Research at McGill University and the Max Planck Institute found the gluey thread produced by mistletoe berries, often called viscin, is powerful enough to seal wounds.

Wetting the viscin fibers transformed them into thin movies that, when dried, turn into stiff and transparent free-standing movies that stuck to surfaces.

Nils Horbelt, the study’s first writer, said he wore the adhesive on his skin for 3 days and located it was flexible enough to maneuver without breaking.

Once dried, the films became stiff and stuck to the surface

Scientists wetted viscin fibers that transformed into thin movies or three-dimensional structures. Once dried, the movies became stiff and attached to the surface

Each mistletoe berry produces around six feet of gluey thread, which allows the seeds of this parasitic plant to keep on with and infect host plants. 

Ancient Greeks and Romans used the berries for various applications, similar to trapping birds and skin ulcer ointment.

Mistletoe was also revered as sacred by the Celtic Druids.

Hundreds of years later, scientists have thoroughly investigated the glue’s potential medical or technical uses.

To check the adhesive, the team made incisions on pig skin (nonliving) with a razor blade, creating several minor cuts.

The incisions were sealed by spreading the viscin-based adhesive, which the team then allowed to dry.

Researchers found that the ‘silky, glossy’ sealant remained in place and the cuts stayed close, while those not covered with viscin easily opened.

And on live human skin, the viscin sealant remained firmly attached for a minimum of three days. 

‘The sealant remained flexible, allowing free movement when performing on a regular basis tasks and was even proof against transient rinsing with water,’ the team shared within the study published in PNAS Nexus.

‘To remove the tissue seal, friction might be utilized by simply rubbing the sealed area.’

The researchers’ next goals are to raised understand the chemistry behind this swellable, extremely sticky material in order that they’ll replicate the method.

And while the plant and its berries are poisonous when consumed, they usually are not toxic when applied to the skin. 

Matthew Harrington, a senior writer of the paper, said in an announcement: ‘The incontrovertible fact that viscin can adhere to each wood and skin or feathers, could also be relevant evolutionarily speaking.

‘Nevertheless it’s harder to clarify adherence to varied synthetic surfaces, similar to plastics, glass and metal alloys, from an adaptive perspective. 

‘So viscin may simply represent a highly versatile adhesion chemistry, which is what makes it so interesting to explore what is occurring chemically.’

While scientists work to fabricate viscin right into a business adhesive, people around the globe hang mistletoe of their doorways to have fun Christmas. 

The team tested the mistletoe adhesive on pig skin. They made several cuts on the skin, placed the viscin on the incisions and let it dry. Wounds applied with the mistletoe glue (red arrows) did not open, while those without did

The team tested the mistletoe adhesive on pig skin. They made several cuts on the skin, placed the viscin on the incisions and let it dry. Wounds applied with the mistletoe glue (red arrows) didn’t open, while those without did

Mistletoe was first used by the Druids more than 2,000 years ago. This group believed it had lifesaving abilities

Mistletoe was first utilized by the Druids greater than 2,000 years ago. This group believed it had lifesaving abilities

The Druids were the primary to make use of the plant as a sacred symbol in the primary century, but the concept quickly spread to other civilizations. 

Mistletoe was an indication of affection and peace in Norse culture. 

Based on legend, Odin’s son Baldur died and was resurrected by the mistletoe.

Mistletoe’s link with fertility and vitality continued through the Middle Ages and located its way into Christmas by the 18th century.

It stays a mystery the way it went from a sacred plant to a vacation decoration.

If you happen to enjoyed this text…

Researchers create an electronic bandage that helps wounds heal FOUR TIMES faster 

Also, an electrical gel that helps repair chronic wounds could offer a recent solution to heal difficult-to-treat injuries 

And ‘smart bandages’ that tell doctors when a wound has healed without them having to ascertain first are developed by scientists 

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