Very good article about the glue inspired by the Sandcastle worm shows a lot of promise to the medical industry, but forming glue in the blood vs forming it in sea water may be very different but apparently changes in PH cause the glue to harden and where the PH is low the glue is a fluid.
the researchers recreated a synthetic version of the worm's adhesive--a polyacrylate glue that is water soluble but doesn't dissolve in liquid, is at least as strong as Super Glue, and is twice as strong as the worm's original glue. Cell culture experiments showed no sign of toxicity; early tests in rats appear to back that up and also show no unusual immune reaction.
The medical industry is in need of better glues that when applied to wet surfaces they don't just migrate away, and an even greater need on it's usage in grafting small fragments of bone together. Karp notes that there's still a lot of work to be done. "Just the idea of forming glue in the presence of blood may be very different than forming it under seawater or under lab conditions," he says. But he believes that the group is off to a good start. "I think it's a really interesting and novel approach, to better understand the biology of the sandcastle worm to create new adhesives," Karp says. "Evolution is the best problem solver. There's nothing that can compete with it."