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Next-Generation Tissue Adhesive Material for Wound Management Could Replace Suture and Stapling

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 07 Nov 2023
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Image: The gelatin patches act as effective tissue adhesives that accelerate wound healing (Photo courtesy of Incheon National University)
Image: The gelatin patches act as effective tissue adhesives that accelerate wound healing (Photo courtesy of Incheon National University)

When it comes to treating open wounds from either accidents or surgical procedures, proper management is crucial for promoting quick healing and avoiding infection. Traditional methods like stitches or staples can sometimes damage surrounding tissues and might lead to the leakage of fluids or gases while also typically requiring anesthesia. One alternative that is gaining attention is tissue adhesive glues, although they often struggle with issues like toxicity and insufficient bonding strength. An innovative wound care solution is the use of tissue adhesive patches, which have adjustable polymeric compositions that enable medical professionals to precisely control adhesion and mechanical strength. Moreover, these patches have the capability to administer medications directly to the wound site, aiding in the healing process. Even though current adhesive patches with catecholamines such as dopamine (DA) are promising, they have limitations, including slow oxidation and poor integration with the polymer structure. To address these issues, researchers have now devised a novel method for creating DA-based tissue adhesive gelatin hydrogels that produce oxygen locally through a reaction mediated by calcium peroxide (CaO2). This innovation not only strengthens the material’s adhesive qualities but also significantly boosts the healing process.

The new approach developed by scientists at Incheon National University (Incheon, Korea) involves the addition of CaO2 into the hydrogel mix. When this compound encounters water, it releases oxygen molecules, which helps the oxidation of DA, encouraging the DA to form polymers and assisting in wound healing. The research included both in vitro (lab-based) and in vivo (living organism-based) studies, where the oxygen-generating tissue adhesives (GOTs) they created were shown to enhance blood clotting, closure, and the formation of new blood vessels. Additionally, these GOTs are not just remarkable in their ability to produce oxygen but also allow for the easy control of gelation and mechanical properties, resulting in a reliable adhesive strength ranging from 15 to 38 kilopascals. This marks the first bioadhesive and tissue adhesive material reported to have oxygen-generating properties. The researchers are optimistic about the practical application of these GOTs, which could offer an economical choice for wound care in clinical settings.

“Oxygen is a critical metabolic substrate or signaling molecule in the body. In particular, hyperoxia, which essentially means high oxygen concentration, has been demonstrated to facilitate wound healing processes and tissue regeneration by promoting cell proliferation, blood vessel formation, and wound remodeling,” said Associate Professor Kyung Min Park of Incheon National University who led the research. “We would like to pursue clinical trials and commercialization of this material through follow-up research and ultimately contribute to improving the quality of human life by developing next-generation tissue adhesive materials that can be applied to humans.”

Related Links:
Incheon National University

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