-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The lowly -- but very
tenacious -- mussel has helped researchers develop new medical
adhesives for sealing surgical incisions and other wounds.
Mussels are able to stick to underwater surfaces such as rocks
and ship hulls without being swept away by powerful waves or
currents. They do this by producing a very powerful adhesive
Scientists used the chemical structure of that protein to
develop non-toxic synthetic adhesives that work well on wet tissue
and have other qualities that make them better than current
products such as fibrin glue and cyanoacrylate adhesives.
The new bioadhesives are called iCMBAs. The researchers tested
them on rats, and their results were published recently in the
Biomaterials. Experts point out, however, that results
achieved in animal testing often are not duplicated in humans.
The iCMBAs had two and a half to eight times better adhesion in
wet tissue conditions than fibrin glue. They also stopped bleeding
instantly, promoted wound healing and closed wounds without the use
of stitches, said Jian Yang, associate professor of bioengineering
at Pennsylvania State University, and colleague.
Yang also noted that the iCMBAs are non-toxic and fully
synthetic, which means they are less likely to cause allergic
reactions. Side effects in the rats were limited to mild
"We are still optimizing our formulation," Yang said in a university news release. "We are still trying to make the adhesion strength even stronger" to expand its use for situations where strong adhesion is essential, such as treating broken bones.
The American Academy of Family Physicians explains how to
care for surgical incisions.
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