Effectiveness of Slug Mucus as a Medical Adhesive

The purpose of this experiment was to compare the effectiveness of using slug slime to medical glue as a skin adhesive, considering the factors of temperature and drying time of the adhesive. This research will provide the scientific community with a greater knowledge about bio-adhesives and give scientists a look at the use of natural adhesives for minor medical procedures, and furthermore, encourage the development of high strength bio-adhesives in the future. To find the force needed to break the glue bonds, medical glue or slug slime was applied to samples of swine skin that were attached to a pulley connected to a LabQuest force instrument. The force was measured using a dual range force sensor. Various parameters (untreated, heated in an environment of 36C, cooled in an environment of 5C, or left to dry for fifteen seconds) were set and trials were randomized. Weights were added to the pulley so that the force incrementally increased until the bond between the swine skins broke. The maximum shear force at failure was recorded. Multiple two-sample t-tests were conducted to compare the effectiveness of each adhesive. If there was a relationship between comparisons, the percent difference was calculated. Medical glue, when compared to no glue, showed a significant difference. In addition, slug slime when heated and dried showed a significant difference. Between slug slime and medical glue, there was a significant difference under the conditions of temperature, dry time, and when both were untreated. There was an approximately greater than 100% difference between the adhesives, and when both adhesives were left to dry, the force of each glue bond was the greatest. Slug slime could offer the combination of high bond strength and biological compatibility. Further research in the area of bio-adhesives may lead to innovative medical bonding agents.

Research Done By:

Natalia Kumar
Sterling Heights High School

Nhi TranHuynh
Sterling Heights High School