The increasing reliability and versatility of adhesive approaches, and the growing need for better alternatives to surgical suturing and stapling, are ushering in a new era of wound repair devices that could one day replace stitches, according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.
Shashank Settipalli, GlobalData’s analyst covering medical devices, states that the worldwide wound closure market was valued at $7.5 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow further by 2020, thanks to the increasing need for improved wound closure devices with faster healing times and lower incidences of failure and infection.
Settipalli says: “Suturing or stapling can be misapplied, especially on fragile tissue that damages easily. Furthermore, some wound sites may require additional interventions to remove non-absorbable sutures and staples for cosmetic reasons, or to prevent infections and other complications.
“While adhesives and sealants offer advantages, such as lower infection rates, they suffer from being relatively low in strength, which is an essential factor in closing many types of wounds.”
The analyst notes that some companies are venturing into researching and developing devices to address this shortcoming and push the boundaries for stitch-free wound closure.
For example, the Bio/Polymer Research Group from the University of New South Wales, Australia, has developed a chitosan-based, laser-activated adhesive called SurgiLux, and a similar laser-based approach has been designed by Laser Tissue Welding from Texas.
Settipalli comments: “The SurgiLux device is a biocompatible polymer synthesized into a thin film and is laser-activated to enhance its adhesive strength. Meanwhile, Laser Tissue Welding’s technology features a human-albumin-based solder that coagulates upon laser activation, leading to prompt hemostasis and sealing.
“Such laser-based innovations will markedly enhance the quality of surgical adhesives and sealants, which have already captured more than 20 percent of the wound closure market, a share that will continue to rise for the foreseeable future.”