Gruesome eyeball wounds patched up with squirt of smart glue

On the battlefield, it may not be possible to stitch up eyeball injuries. A glue that responds to body temperature can plug up wounds until help is available

A smart glue may safely fill cuts in the outer eyeball in emergency situations, keeping the wound safe until proper treatment is available.

In battlefield situations or remote locations, people who sustain eyeball injuries may not be able to find someone capable of the skilled microsurgery they need to stitch up their wound. The longer they go without, the more likely they are to get an infection or suffer a detachment of the retina, due to lower eyeball pressure.

“Each day that no intervention is taken, the risk of permanent vision loss increases,” says Jack Whalen, of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

His team have developed a special type of iso-propylacrylamide glue. The substance is a liquid at temperatures lower than 25°C, but when it is squirted into an eyeball wound, the higher body temperature makes it solidify within