March 15, 2024

New gel protects tissue during gastrointestinal surgery

Editor's Note

Researchers at MIT have developed a new gel called GastroShield to help prevent gastrointestinal bleeding during and after surgery performed during colonoscopy screenings. Advanced Materials published the findings on February 29. 

Colonoscopy screenings—undergone by some 20 million Americans each year—often result in doctors finding and removing polyps. These surgeries reduce the incidence of colon cancer, but can result in gastrointestinal bleeding, intestinal wall perforation, and leakage. The new GastroShield adhesive hydrogel can be sprayed directly onto surgery sites via an endoscope and provides the tissue with a protective layer that prevents damage and bleeding. 

Researchers tested the gel in animal studies and found that it works seamlessly with current endoscopic procedures and offers wound protection for up to seven days, allowing tissues to fully heal following surgery. The team has formed a company called BioDevek to further develop the gel for use in human surgeries.


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