Skip to Content
MIT Alumni News: 77

Sprayable gel simplifies surgeries

Applied during colonoscopies and other endoscopic procedures, GastroShield could help prevent complications such as bleeding and intestinal tears.

June 25, 2024
end of an endoscope
The gel can be sprayed onto surgical sites through an endoscope.Courtesy of the Researchers

Colonoscopies are a boon for preventing colon cancer, but patients may develop gastrointestinal bleeding or dangerous small tears in the intestine if doctors end up having to remove polyps in the process.

Now MIT researchers have developed a gel that can be sprayed through an endoscope onto the surgical sites, where it instantly forms a tough but flexible layer that protects the damaged area, reinforces the tissue, and allows it to heal. 

In an animal study, the researchers showed that the gel, called GastroShield, is simple to apply in the course of current endoscopic procedures and provides wound protection for three to seven days. 

In addition to its potential in colonoscopies, this gel could be useful for treating stomach ulcers and inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease, or for delivering cancer drugs, says Natalie Artzi, a principal research scientist in MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, who coauthored a paper on the work with colleagues including Professor Elazer Edelman ’78, SM ’79, PhD ’84, former MIT postdoc Pere Dosta, and former visiting student Gonzalo Muñoz Taboada. 

Members of the research team have started a company called BioDevek that plans to further develop the new material for use in humans. 

Keep Reading

Most Popular

What is AI?

Everyone thinks they know but no one can agree. And that’s a problem.

What are AI agents? 

The next big thing is AI tools that can do more complex tasks. Here’s how they will work.

What’s next for bird flu vaccines

If we want our vaccine production process to be more robust and faster, we’ll have to stop relying on chicken eggs.

How to fix a Windows PC affected by the global outage

There is a known workaround for the blue screen CrowdStrike error that many Windows computers are currently experiencing. Here’s how to do it.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.