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Mussels inspire innovative new adhesive for surgery

ally, neither product is effective when used on wet tissue, a requirement of internal organ surgery, nor are there any current commercially available tissue adhesives or sealants appropriate for both external and internal use.

The researchers tested the newly developed iCMBAs on rats, using the adhesive and finger clamping to close three wounds for two minutes. Three other wounds were closed using sutures. The researchers reported their findings in a recent issue of Biomaterials.

The iCMBAs provided 2.5 to 8.0 times stronger adhesion in wet tissue conditions compared to fibrin glue. They also stopped bleeding instantly, facilitated wound healing, closed wounds without the use of sutures and offered controllable degradation.

"If you want the material to stay there for one week, we can control the polymer to degrade in one week," said Yang. "If you want the material to stay in the wound for more than a month, we can control the synthesis to make the materials degrade in one month."

The iCMBAs are also non-toxic, and because they are fully synthetic, they are unlikely to cause allergic reactions. Side effects were limited to mild inflammation.

"If you put any synthetic materials into your body," said Yang, "the body will generate some inflammation."

The researchers are now working on improving the formula.

"We are still optimizing our formulation," said Yang. "We are still trying to make the adhesion strength even stronger" to expand its use for things like broken bones where strong adhesion is tremendously important.

The researchers are also looking at adding in components that could control infection.

"We can introduce another component with anti-microbial properties, so it can do two functions at once," said Yang.

The iCMBAs could eventually be used in a wide range of surgical disciplines from suture and staple replacement to tissue grafts to treat hernias, ulcers and burns.

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
Penn State

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