Sticking to the Pattern: Textured Surgical Patches Plus Medical-Grade Crazy Glue Equals More Stick, Less Toxicity

The findings offer an answer to overcoming the significant challenges with existing tissue adhesives.

The study was published online Sept. 18, 2013, in Advanced Healthcare Materials.

The researchers coated a thin layer of cyanoacrylate glue-a sort of medical-grade crazy glue-onto  micro-textured patches, and found that the patches had similar adhesion levels compared to those that used large amounts of adhesive. The coated, micro-textured patches also had superior adhesion levels compared to glue-coated, non-textured patches. Moreover, in vivo studies showed the coated, micro-textured patches resulted in reduced tissue inflammation and cell death. The researchers were able to close surgical stomach and colon defects in pre-clinical models without incurring abdominal adhesions.

“Our work shows that harnessing the synergy between surface topography and reactive chemistry enables controlled tissue adhesion with an improved biocompatibility profile and does not require changing the chemical composition of reactive tissue glues,” said Jeffrey Karp, PhD, BWH Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, co-senior study author.

“Because these adhesives are already approved for clinical use and the development and manufacturing of the tissue tapes is ongoing, we are hopeful that this work could be quickly translated to patients,” added Peter Masiakos, MD, MGH pediatric surgeon, co-senior study author.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (GM086433, DE013023), the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, and the MIT-Portugal program.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital