New biocompatible adhesive glues together soft tissues

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adhesives between different tissues

[Image from Okayama University]

Okayama University researchers say they’ve discovered a new type of biocompatible adhesive material made of hydroxyapatite that can glue together synthetic hydrogels and soft tissues.

Adhesive organic materials instead of sutures join soft tissues. The method has been around for several decades, but it often has limited biocompatibility and sub-optimal adhesive strength. The researchers at Okayama University, however, have identified a class of biocompatible biodegradable compounds that appear to have promising adhesion properties in mouse soft tissues.

The material is made from hydroxyapatite nanoparticles. The team of researchers, led by Takuya Matsumoto, discovered that certain nanostructured materials have notable adhesiveness. In industrial and non-clinical applications, silicon oxide nanoparticles were distributed between two hydrogels, which quickly glued the hydrogels together. Matsumoto wanted to be able to use that same knowledge and apply it to clinical applications using biocompatible materials.

Matsumoto and his team experimented with hydroxyapatite nanoparticles, naturally found in hard tissues in the human body like bones and teeth. Hydroxyapatite composites are usually used for orthopedic and dental implants and tissue engineering.

The team tested the hydroxyapatite between two synthetic hydrogels. The nanoparticles increased the adhesion and when it dried, solid hydroxyapatite plates formed and the cohesion was even greater. Increased cohesion in the plates allowed for better inter-hydrogel adhesion. Then they tested the use of the hydroxyapatite plates on a variety of mouse soft tissues including muscle, lung, kidney and other tissues. Each tissue set was able to be glued together successfully, and the strength of the adhesion was two times stronger than commercial organic glue.

Matsumoto and his team suggest that the findings could be beneficial to surgical-would healing and drug delivery technologies.

The research was published online the journal Acta Biomaterialia.

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