Research at McGill University and the Max Planck Institute has shown that the sticky thread produced by the mistletoe plant, known as viscin, a jelly-like substance, is strong enough to seal wounds.
The hydration of the viscose fibers has led to their transformation into thin films, which, after drying, become hard and transparent films that adhere to surfaces.
Nils Hörbelt, the study’s first author, said he put the patch on his skin for three days and found it was flexible enough to move without breaking.
Each fruit of the mistletoe plant produces about six feet of sticky filaments, which allows this parasitic plant to attach itself to host plants.
The ancient Greeks and Romans used mistletoe (or mistletoe) fruit for a variety of purposes such as catching birds and as an ointment for skin ulcers.
Thousands of years later, scientists scrutinized the potential medical or technical uses of physin.
To test the glue, the team made incisions in the skin of the (non-living) pig with a razor blade, making several small cuts.
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The cracks were closed by applying sticky glue, which the team then allowed to dry.
The team found that the “silky silky” vise sealant stayed in place and wounds remained closed, while those that were not covered with vise opened easily.
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On living human skin, the viscous sealant ficin remained stable for at least three days.
The team showed in a study published in Nexus PNAS: “Vitsin remained flexible, allowing free movement during daily tasks, and was resistant to light rinsing with water.”
Rubbing can be used to remove calluses by simply rubbing the area it covers.
The scientists’ next goal is to better understand the chemistry of this very sticky substance so they can replicate the process.
Although the plant and its fruits are toxic when eaten, they are not toxic when applied to the skin.
“The fact that vicin can stick to wood, skin, or feathers may be due to evolution,” Matthew Harrington, one of the paper’s lead authors, said in a statement, “but sticking to various artificial surfaces such as plastic, glass and metal alloys from an adaptive point of view. So ficin may just represent the universal chemistry of adhesion, which is what makes studying what happens chemically so interesting.”
Source: Daily Mail