Hydrogels have reportedly more recently become a key component of quite a few innovative products, ranging from electronic “Band-Aids” that can deliver medicine, to stretchable electronics to tiny, jelly-like robots that can be implanted inside a person’s body. Scientist have been working on a solution to bridge the gap between soft and hard materials to find a rapid prototyping method of bonding hydrogels to diverse materials that can be fast, universal, and used on a day-to-day basis.

In testing the new “super superglue,” the researchers produced a prototype of artificial vertebrae using the hydrogel to repair deteriorating discs in the spine. The test showed that with the glue, the vertebrae could be assembled much more quickly than normal, according to a report on the research, recently published in Science Advances.

The future of the new type of superglue is still taking shape. It is estimated that it could be another three to five years before it’s available in the marketplace.

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