(CNN)Uncontrolled bleeding during surgery can cause death. What if, instead of slow surgical stitching, you could rapidly glue a wound together?
A new "bio-glue" -- an experimental adhesive gel that is activated by a flash of light -- has been proven to stop high pressure bleeding in the hearts of pigs.
Additional research confirming the safety of this product is needed before experiments can begin in humans, according to the authors of a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications.
Around the globe, more than 234 million surgeries are performed each year, the World Health Organization estimates.
Surgical suturing is especially difficult when dealing with diseased, damaged or small blood vessels, according to the study authors. Existing surgical products, such as Fibrin Glue and Surgiflo, have been effective in stopping bleeding during surgeries, but they take minutes to set and in some cases require additional stitching.
Numerous attempts have been made to create improved and swifter-acting surgical adhesives, but few nontoxic materials can meet the criteria of holding fast on wet tissues while resisting pressure and the movement of a beating heart.
A team of researchers from Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, China, accepted the challenge.
Inspired by the matrix composition of human connective tissues, they c