MATERIALS SCIENCE: Superglues for Tissues

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Science  25 May 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5828, pp. 1099a
DOI: 10.1126/science.316.5828.1099a

A long-standing issue in the development of regenerative tissues is their attachment and integration into the body. Adhesives for this purpose have often shown poor biocompatibility or insufficient bonding strength. Wang et al. have devised an adhesive based on the biopolymer chondroitin sulfate (CS), a major component of the extracellular matrix of cartilage. CS has shown anti-inflammatory activity, and aids in water and nutrient absorption as well as wound healing. The CS was modified by addition of both a methacrylate and an aldehyde group, allowing for covalent bonding to both a biomaterial scaffold and a tissue surface. Current surgical options for grafting onto cartilage use sutures or tacks and thus create new defects in the tissue. In vitro tests showed that the CS adhesive was easy to apply and did not damage the cartilage tissue. Contact of cells with the adhesive in either the native tissue or a biomaterial matrix did not reduce their viability. In vivo experiments in mice, rabbits, and goats showed that the CS adhesive could attach and mechanically reinforce a cell-seeded hydrogel, and aid in the integration and repair of damaged tissue (shown above left for a rabbit). — MSL

Nat. Mater. 6, 385 (2007).

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