CHEMISTRY/BIOTECHNOLOGY

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Science  24 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5572, pp. 1367
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5572.1367a

Cuts and incisions, even in fragile tissues such as the eye, are often repaired with sutures. Biodegradable adhesives could offer the dual advantages of holding tissue edges together with more evenly distributed pressure and of not requiring manual removal after healing.

Carnahan et al. synthesized highly branched polyester-ethers composed of poly(ethylene glycol), glycerol, and succinic acid and used these copolymers to seal cuts in enucleated eyes. These molecules, which have a short linear core and two dendrimeric ends, have low viscosity and thus could spread over an eye laceration. Light from an argon laser was used to cross-link the polymer, creating an elastic and transparent film that sealed a full-thickness, 4.1-millimeter corneal laceration against a pressure of about 170 mm of Hg (normal intraocular pressure is about 20 mm of Hg or 2.7 kilopascals). — PDS

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 124, 5291 (2002).

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