In Avengers: Infinity War, Tony Stark is mortally wounded while in hand-to-hand combat with Thanos. It is clear that he has been run through the abdomen by some kind of large blade, and the blood coming from his mouth shows that he is bleeding internally. It is important to remember that Stark sans Iron Man armour is a normal (if relatively fit) and relatively vulnerable human in contrast to physiologically superior and rapidly healing colleagues such as Captain America and Spider-Man.

However, he appears to spray himself with some kind of restorative spray. What is this spray, and how does it save Tony?

There is a related question here about how Tony could have been wounded by an edged blade attack in the first place, but I am interested in his apparent 'healing' after the fact.

  • 1
    Unsourced but they seem to be calling it "Medical Suture Spray"
    – Edlothiad
    May 30, 2018 at 14:02

4 Answers 4



The suit Tony uses in A:IW is based on nanotechnology, and has a characteristic "seething" quality as it builds or reconfigures itself.

In a scene after being stabbed, Tony is shown spraying a foam-like substance on the wound, which "seethes" in the same manner. It's reasonable to assume that it was stitching him up, internally and externally, and dealing with wound contamination - the two things required to deal with an abdominal wound.

  • 10
    He also wasn't stabbed in center of the abdomen but off to the side, so it would have missed most of his vital organs to begin with. May 30, 2018 at 17:59
  • 15
    The classic Marvel hand wave. Nanobots. May 30, 2018 at 20:18
  • 2
    @Adonalsium : and those nanobots can do anything and can heal everything. Except the shrapnels near his heart. Despite many real life medics being able to perform open-heart surgery and solve much more complicated problems, his shrapnels are impossible to remove even with nanotechnology. Nanotechnology which can restore him on the cellular level. Logical.
    – vsz
    May 31, 2018 at 6:19
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    @vsz: Except by the time he developed the nanobots he'd already had the shrapnel removed hadn't he? Can't remember if that was IM2 or 3...
    – Chris
    May 31, 2018 at 8:20
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    Yes, Tony Stark had the shrapnel in his heart removed at the end of Ironman 3. As for the healing factor...umm ya magical handwaving kinda sorta, but in the comics Tony Stark has extremis. The MCU Ironman IS strongly based on the Extremis arch of the comics which reorginated the character. I explained this more in depth in a separate answer. Jun 2, 2018 at 19:35

I'm not familiar with the comics from which the Iron Man movies are made. It is possible that this spray and its capabilities is mentioned there. However, my answer is based on general human physiology.

Most abdominal wounds are not immediately fatal. The main areas of immediate concern would be perforation of the stomach (acid in the abdomen is very bad), liver (causes severe bleeding), one of the arteries running through the abdomen, or the spine (paralysis).

If none of those are hit, then his chances of living for many hours to days are very good. The primary concerns are closing any bowel perforation, gradual blood loss, and infection. IV antibiotics usually can defeat the infection caused by a perforated bowel if treated soon enough.

So if Tony's magic spray can treat the perforated bowel to close and stop any bleeding, he'd be very sick and need to be watched closely for a week or so but should otherwise be fine.

In the movie, they state that Tony's newest suit used some sort of nanite technology. If you assume his spray also contained programmable nanites, then it is not an unreasonable stretch to assume his magic spray could fix these issues.

  • +1. The main issue you point out is the wrong assumption of the OP that this was actually a mortal wound. While he may die from it "eventually" it is not mortal as in "hit, you dead".
    – TomTom
    May 31, 2018 at 8:52
  • Blood coming out of the mouth isn't a sign that something important was hit?
    – user123406
    Dec 3, 2019 at 1:58
  • As the dates show, it's now been years since I last watched the movie, so I don't recall the scene with the blood coming out of his mouth. But blood from the mouth could be caused by biting a tongue or cheek. However, I assume the scene was supposed to make us think his wound was potentially mortal wound - just not mortal yet (as @TomTom indicated).
    – Jim2B
    Apr 26 at 3:45

This was already sufficiently answered above but I wanted to share some information from the comics the MCU is directly based on so people that are unfamiliar have some frame of reference.

MCU Ironman is very strongly based on the Extremis arc in the comics, which included a new origin story for the Ironman armor where in the post 9/11 world Tony Stark's weapons are being used to fight Al Qaeda and after an incident during an inspection he is injured by one of his own bombs and is kidnapped by terrorists in Afghanistan.

That part you already should be familiar with, the movies present that part of the story verbatim but the rest is a quick recap/summary of what follows and how it's presented in the comic and translated in the MCU.

The suit that he uses in Avengers: Infinity War is the MK50 AKA the Endo-Sym suit which in the comics is the most advanced version to date of Ironman's armor, specifically it is designed to compliment a Tony Stark who has Extremis.

To understand the suit and how it works in the comics, you also have to understand that the Extremis storyline was a similar but very different thing in the films, in the comics it was an attempt to recreate the Super Soldier Program that created Captain America with a sort of biological nanotech.

I can understand why they wanted to keep all that of out of the MCU but the short version is that in the comics (that MCU Ironman is most strongly based) on Tony Stark has Extremis, therefore he HAS a healing factor, but he also in fact developed his own version of Extremis which also gave him the ability to interface directly with machines, they left a lot of this out in the films but the basic components of the storyline are essentially in tact as is the functionality of the MK50 Ironman armor.

In the comics this suit is like the ultimate suit for a Tony Stark that has Extremis and interfaces directly with technology. The MK50 Ironman armor in the comics is based off the Venom Symbiote and nanotech. It's described and looks like a sort of a liquid smart-metal suit very similar to the t1000 liquid metal Terminator. While the suit doesn't quite have a mind and personality of it's own, it's a sort of biotechnological prothesis and is very much alive.

In the MCU, Tony Stark doesn't have Extremis but the MK50 still functions very similarly as seen in the film. So with some limitations (there's only so many nanobots it has to work with) it can form into any configuration (in the comics, the armor can even grow into a new version of sorts of the Hulkbuster armor) giving Tony use of virtually any tool he might need on the fly, one would assume including advanced medical equipment.

Of course the MCU doesn't explain any of this technology in detail and it just borrows elements from the Extremis arc and comics that followed it, so you're intended to fill in the blanks yourself and suspend your disbelief. But all the basic elements of that storyline and the tech in it are present in the MCU...just reconfigured. Instead of Tony having Extremis + cool symbiote suit, he has this nanotech suit.


After Tony Stark was stabbed mortally, Doctor Strange made a bargain with Thanos. He offered Thanos the Time Stone in exchange for Tony's life. So, it was actually Thanos who protected Tony Stark from a mortal wound leaving him with a minor injury, which he could heal with a spray.

  • 5
    Can you back up this bold assertion with some evidence?
    – Valorum
    Jun 23, 2018 at 20:14
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    There are plenty of supplementary sources (such as cast & crew interviews, factbooks, scripts, commentaries and other films in the series) that can provide supporting evidence.
    – Valorum
    Jun 23, 2018 at 20:54
  • 4
    @Valorum Did you ask the evidences from other answers? All are speculation. This one's more realistic. And, why the delete vote? I am going to report it.
    – user931
    Jun 23, 2018 at 20:59
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    All three of the other answers offer evidence (of a sort). The first mentions the "seething" we see earlier in the film, the second refers to OPs own medical knowledge and the third makes reference to events that occur within the comics. To be frank, I've not upvoted any of them because their evidence base is also poor
    – Valorum
    Jun 23, 2018 at 21:09
  • 4
    Your response to a query for more evidence is "go watch the movie again"? That is as poor a response as an answer that says "Go google it".
    – JohnP
    Jun 25, 2018 at 19:32

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