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Mussels inspire innovative new adhesive for surgery
Date:1/9/2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Mussels can be a mouthwatering meal, but the chemistry that lets mussels stick to underwater surfaces may also provide a highly adhesive wound closure and more effective healing from surgery.

In recent decades bioahesives, tissue sealants and hemostatic agents became the favored products to control bleeding and promote tissue healing after surgery. However, many of them have side effects or other problems, including an inability to perform well on wet tissue.

"To solve this medical problem, we looked at nature," said Jian Yang, associate professor of bioengineering at Penn State. "There are sea creatures, like the mussel, that can stick on rocks and on ships in the ocean. They can hold on tightly without getting flushed away by the waves because the mussel can make a very powerful adhesive protein. We looked at the chemical structure of that kind of adhesive protein."

Yang, along with University of Texas-Arlington researchers Mohammadreza Mehdizadeh, Hong Weng, Dipendra Gyawali and Liping Tang, took the biological information and developed a wholly synthetic family of adhesives. They incorporated the chemical structure from the mussel's adhesive protein into the design of an injectable synthetic polymer. The bioahesives, called iCMBAs, adhere well in wet environments, have controlled degradability, improved biocompatibility and lower manufacturing costs, putting them a step above current products such as fibrin glue and cyanoacrylate adhesives.

Fibrin glues are fast acting and biodegradable but have relatively poor adhesion strength. They may also carry risk of blood-borne disease transmission and have the potential for allergic reactions due to animal-based ingredients. Cyanoacrylate adhesives -- super glues -- offer strong adhesion, rapid setting time and strong adhesion to tissue, but they degrade slowly and may cause toxicity, often limiting their use to external applications.

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Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

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