Egg white can act as a sealant for the amnion, a membrane that surrounds developing foetuses, according to scientists at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
The amnion can crack spontaneously, but can also tear after amniocentesis - in which a needle is used to extract amniotic fluid to test for genetic diseases - or foetal surgery.
AdvertisementThis can cause the mother's waters to break prematurely, resulting in miscarriage, reports New Scientist.
Noting its stickiness and its role in protecting a developing chick, Ken Moise and his colleagues turned to purified, treated white from chicken eggs, which they had already used to repair holes in balloons and condoms.
They took discarded human amnions and stretched each across the bottom of an open-ended glass tube, which they then filled with human amniotic fluid.
Next they ruptured the membrane with a needle, and after 30 seconds applied purified egg white.
The researchers found that out of 21 tubes, 19 stopped leaking immediately. The others stopped after a second application.
The study has been published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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