Scientist solves it with “magic” formula one of the oldest problems in Surgery

    Wherever he goes these days, Maria Pereira, either in her office in Paris, either at a conference in Boston or back home in Portugal, carries a…
    miracle glue. This vial with the glue, it’s not a coincidence as it may contain the solution to one of the oldest problems in surgery: how to seal the wounds and the holes in the body without it being destroyed.
    The ancient Egyptians and the Greeks were faced with the same dilemma, and the thick stitches of silk, was the method. The modern physician is based on a more refined technique of suturing wounds, but this can still lead to infection, irritation and scars.
    The Pereira, the head of research in Paris, and the medical startup Gecko Biomedical, plans to change that. “Innovation in science is the key to improving the lives of people,” says the 30-year-old, who grew up in the Portuguese city of Leiria and moved to Paris in October 2013 to join the Gecko. The company closed the first round of funding at the end of the same year, with a capital increase of 11 million dollars to promote the work of surgical glues and patches for wound closure.

    The journey of the dream began 7 years ago, when he received a scholarship to do her phd at MIT.
    The supervisor-professor, Jeff Karp, is singled out immediately by the passion and the will to make the world a better place.
    When, therefore, the Children’s Hospital of Boston, approached the Karp 2009 to find an alternative to internal stitches in the heart of children, Pereira was in charge of the investigation.

    The need to find a solution was dramatic: nearly 1 in 100 babies (40,000 a) is born with congenital heart abnormalities and this is the main cause of deaths of children in the united states.
    The heart of a child, which is the size of a fist, is so fragile that the suture tissues may create additional problems. And as the heart will grow bigger, I needed more and more recovery processes, causing further damage.
    The goal of Pereira was to create a glue that would act within the environment of the human body, the heart.
    A glue that could performs under wet conditions, which will be sufficiently elastic to expand and contract with each beat of the heart, to be hydrophobic (to repel the blood from the surface), biodegradable and non-toxic.
    In 2012, Pereira has designed a material that met all these criteria and more: the glue did not move only when the surgeon threw on the light, giving him the absolute control throughout the process of implementation.

    The material that arose was so promising, that the head doctor Jeff Karp, along with reputable scientists and entrepreneurs, co-founded the company Gecko Biomedical in Paris, and gave Pereira the opportunity to advance this medical technology revolution, from the laboratory to clinical studies.
    Within a year, the group managed to produce industrial quantities of a particular glue, only five grams, which had been producing in the lab.
    With clinical trials expected to start soon, this pioneering material could reach the surgeries until 2017.