Spider Stitches

Did I just walk into a spider web? Eeew!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with The Loh Down on Science.

Having surgery? That means…stitches!. And getting stitches is about as fun as… well, getting stitches. Any way we can avoid those needles?

Hyunwoo Yuk and Claudia Varela from MIT took a stitching lesson… from spiders! Spider webs contain special chemicals that instantly suck away moisture from their unsuspecting prey. This is what makes spider webs soooo sticky!

Inspired by the spiders, the team created a two-sided surgical sticky tape that wicks moisture away. They used polyacrylic acid, an absorbent material found in disposable diapers. Like a spider web, it can stick to ANYTHING, including wet tissues! Yuk and Varela tested their tape on pig and rat tissues.


The sticky spider-tape tightly seals lungs and intestines. It wicks moisture from tissues, creating a super strong bond in JUST FIVE seconds! The researchers believe this tape can lead to improved surgical healing.

Maybe one day this tape can glue a broken heart back together?