Researchers at NTU Singapore have developed a device that uses an electrically-activated ‘Voltaglue’ patch and catheter to seal broken blood vessels.

The device could lead to quicker and less invasive sealing of tears and holes in blood vessels, the team believes, holding potential to replace the need for open keyhole surgery on internal blood vessel defects.

Voltaglue was created by NTU associate professor Jerry Steele in 2015. Patented by NTU and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) scientists, Voltaglue is an adhesive that works in wet environments and hardens when a voltage is applied to it.

The new device was jointly developed by Steele with former NTU PhD student Dr Manisha Singh, now at MIT, and associate professor Ellen Roche from MIT’s department of mechanical engineering and institute for medical engineering and Science.

It is made up of two components: an adhesive patch containing Voltaglue, and a modified balloon catheter with retractable wires that can carry electrical current. After inserting the catheter into a blood vessel, the patch can be guided through the body to where the tear is located and be activated using retractable electrodes to glue it shut in a matter of minutes according to the team.

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