Whether to perform surgery on a fetus is a heart-wrenching decision. This type of surgery involves penetrating the highly delicate amniotic sac, increasing health risks to the fetus. Now researchers report the development of a glue, inspired by the tenacious grip of mussels on slippery rocks, that could one day help save the lives of the youngest patients.The researchers are presenting their findings today at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world’s largest scientific society, is holding the meeting here through Thursday. It features nearly 9,400 presentations on a wide range of science topics.”One of the biggest risks in performing surgery on fetuses is not the surgical procedure itself, but the insertion of a fetal scope through the amniotic sac, which is very fragile,” Diederik Balkenende, Ph.D., says. “After the surgery, the small hole where the scope penetrated the membrane can start to tear. If it tears completely, premature labor is likely. Because these operations are often done in the second trimester well before the fetus is fully developed, early delivery increases the risk of fetal morbidity. An adhesive that can prevent the amniotic sac from tearing could help the fetus remain… Read full this story
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